Culture and the Media
The Reflected Subject
(1) Crossley, N. (2005). Key Concepts in Critical Social Theory. London: Sage, pp. 190-95.
(2) Williamson, J. (1995). Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. Enlarged ed. London: Marion Boyars, pp. 61-67.

Lacan's notoriously difficult account of the "mirror stage" of infant development has had a huge impact on many areas of academic enquiry, including film, media and cultural studies. He suggests that the sense of a coherent self can be traced back to the earliest months of a subject's life, but that it rests on a fundamental misunderstanding and alienation.

Further Reading

Baudry, J-L. (1970). Ideological Effects of the Basic Cinematographic Apparatus. Williams. A. (trans.). Film Quarterly 28.2 (Winter, 1974-1975), pp. 39-47. Reprinted in: Rosen, P. (1986). Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 286-98. Retrieved 14 August 2012 from here. Influential essay which examines the way in which cinema hails viewers, making use of Lacan's theory of the mirror phase. Discussed by Lapsley and Westlake (pp. 79-80).

Benvenuto, B. and Kennedy, R. (1986). The Works of Jacques Lacan: An Introduction. London: Free Association. Retrieved 17 September 2012 from here. Chapter 2 (pp. 47-62) provides an account of Lacan's mirror stage, showing particularly how it builds on Freud's work.

Bowie, M. (1991). Lacan. London: Fontana. Includes an account of the mirror stage, focusing on alienation and Lacan's literary style (pp. 21-28).

Coward, R. and John Ellis (1977). Language and Materialism: Developments in Semiology and the Theory of the Subject. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. 93-121 (Chapter 6). Account of Lacan's theory of the subject, focusing on the relationship of his work to that of Marxism, Saussure and Freud. The mirror stage is discussed on pp. 109-12.

Evans, D. (1996). An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis. London: Routledge, pp. 114-16, 190, 67, 119-20. Clear accounts of the key technical terms involved in Lacan's notion of the mirror stage.

Evans, D. (2005). From Lacan to Darwin. In Jonathan Gottschall and David Sloan Wilson (eds), The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, pp. 38-55. Retrieved 22 November 2012 from here. Evans, who wrote the definitive Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis, explains why he changed his mind about Lacan.

Grosz, E. (1990). Jacques Lacan: A Feminist Introduction. London: Routledge. Chapter 2 (pp. 24-49) provides an account of Lacan's mirror stage, including how it builds on Freud's narcissistic view of the ego.

Johnson, B. (2008). Persons and Things. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 51-60. A careful reading of the mirror stage, including extended quotations from Lacan.

Lacan, J. (1977). The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience. In: Ecrits, London: Tavistock, 1977. Reprinted in: Du Gay, P., Evans, J. and Redman, P. (eds) (2000). Identity: A Reader. London: Sage, pp. 44-50. Lacan's exceptionally difficult account of the mirror stage from 1949. If you tackle this, read it alongside Michael Payne's explanation.

Metz, C. (1975). The Imaginary Signifier. Screen 16.2 (Summer 1975), pp. 46-76. Excerpts reprinted in: Rosen, P. (1986). Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 244-78. Influential essay which uses Lacan's mirror stage to examine the spectating subject in the cinema. Discussed by Lapsley and Westlake (pp. 81-86).

Payne, M. (1993). Reading Theory: An Introduction to Lacan, Derrida, and Kristeva. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, pp. 26-34. A close reading of Lacan's essay, section by section, particularly demonstrating its relationship to previous work by Wallon, Freud, Dali, Sartre, and others.

Roudinesco, E. (1990). Jacques Lacan & Co.: A History of Psychoanalysis in France 1925-1985. Trans. Jefffrey Mehlman. London: Free Association Books. Includes a brief account of Henri Wallon's discussion of the "mirror ordeal" (pp. 69-71), on which Lacan drew heavily (pp. 142-47).