Articles by: Mark Furlong

Author Biography:

Mark Furlong is an independent scholar, and thinker-in-residence at the Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University: .

Informit: Common touch: Everybody knows

The narrator in Zadie Smith's The Embassy of Cambodia asks: 'Surely there is something to be said for drawing a circle around our attention and remaining within that circle. But how large should that circle be?' A modern reader might reply: 'Hey, draw that line around how I am thinking and feeling. I want to be in charge'.

Informit: Alight on the dark triad

A contention currently receiving attention in sports psychology is that athletes who succeed at the elite level - those that have the highly focused, succeed-atall- costs winner's mentality - tend to present with a particular personality type: they score high on the scale measuring what has come to be termed the Dark Triad. This proposed personality type bundles three sub-scales: a measure of the person's disregard for others ('psychopathy'), self-importance ('narcissism') and preparedness to be…

Informit: Whose problem am I?

What is to be said about the preferred presentation of self in everyday life? Obviously, shyness is verboten and rude good health is in, but what is happening between these well-lit lines?

Informit: ‘Psychological’

The Sociological Imagination was published more than fifty years ago. For most people, the frisson associated with its thesis has largely waned. A proposition might be ventured here: as the perceived appeal of the sociological has shrunk, so the perceived ambit and relevance of the psychological has expanded.

Informit: Humanities professionals and ‘the social’

What's In and What's Out The ambition of this essay is broad: to review the contributions of Arena on humanities professionals over the last fifty years. This ambit has been interpreted to include material relevant to those with a background or interest in public policy, social research, education, community services and health. To proceed in this way is uncertain. That is, the brief is unstable, as relevant naming practices and territory definitions are evanescent -…

Informit: Postcard: The circus master

Calculated machismo in Putin's Russia <br /><br /> There's a dog in first class. On an Aeroflot flight out of Moscow to Baku, this little surprise only became apparent to those in economy a little before takeoff.

Informit: The common touch: Drumming up a post-human beat

Today's self-presentation needs to be market wise. This may sound extreme, even melodramatic. It may even cede more ground than has been taken. But what is fair to say is that the understanding of what is acceptable, even preferred, in terms of personality and its elements - what Foucault refers to as the specifications of the self - is definitely changing. A recent book, and its review, offers a striking despatch from the front.

Informit: The common touch: Guilt as restraint of trade

An effective campaign has been waged against guilt. Not only disavowed by celebrity role models, guilt has now been dismissed as a 'useless emotion' by the competent authorities, those official technocrats delegated to manage subjectivity and mental health. This affect, they say, is inhibiting and archaic. De-legitimated, what was once an honoured, if uncomfortable, gamekeeper has been done down. Bad-mouthed as negative and unproductive - yuck! - guilt has become legal quarry.

Positive Psychology, by Mark Furlong

In every dream scheme, a slip knot

Informit: The common touch: It’s been a good year for florists

Does mass grief truly reflect our humanity? Just about everybody knows our world is getting meaner. This is discomforting, but what can you do? Those who command attention-the sports star, the Oscar winner, the celebrated scientist-say the same thing: 'don't worry about the things you can't control; concentrate on what you can control'. This logic sets the terms in such a way that the only sensible response is to focus on oneself. Isn't the self…

Naming Rights: DSM 5 by Mark Furlong

The latest edition of psychiatry’s diagnostic bible is set to break up the field

Informit: ‘Facebook as God’

Daniel Miller recently presented an upbeat report on the Facebook phenomenon. Miller, a cultural anthropologist who has published extensively, including for the 'New Left Review', stated during this talk that using Facebook can 'definitely' lead to couples breaking up. Illustrating this claim with a vignette from his field work, Miller argued that break ups occur when one, or both, partners use Facebook in such a way as to deregulate the reciprocal patterns of intimate self-disclosure…