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There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. Le beau, le laid, le genre. We do not manage to grasp it without this cleft. Once again, gender illustrates an unease associated with sex from which it would be almost detachable at the end of its deconstruction.

This can be spotted with much greater clarity given that the psychoanalytical approach struggles to perform analyses that are as comfortable and efficacious as sociological analyses, notably when these analyses are engaged in a more direct manner in the interplay of demarcations. Thus, disconcerted by an approach that is necessarily partial and hard to conceptualize, the approach of psychoanalytical theory sometimes takes a detour in order to ask: Le sujet a-t-il un genre?

This does not offer a definition of gender in psychoanalysis, but we do move forward by handling the notion of gender in our epistemological field, and there we find a place for the clinic. Utiliser Winnicott pour comprendre So it is that, little by little, over these last years, the possibility of finding a rightful place, function, and definition for gender has opened up in psychoanalysis. Gender translates something of sex by allowing us to appreciate the gap between the anatomical and the psychical, between the genital and the social, and between assignation and affirmation.

And within this conception there is then imposed the supremacy of sex over gender, which would pre-exist it and would be superior to it within a hierarchical relationship.


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This reading runs completely counter to what gender gives rise to and reveals with respect to the processes of social and cultural constructions that ground it, clarifying by the same stroke what is likewise a social construction of sex, which has been stripped of its naturalness or its genitality, but which has not for all that been desexualized. Going beyond the categories that queer criticism promotes does not necessarily imply going beyond the naturalness that might be present in each of these categories, which can then circulate, without being constantly called into question.

This formulation by Freud and other propositions from psychoanalysis in general are critiqued and charged with collaborating with the system of sexual norms that queer criticism tends to denounce in its extension of the critique from the various feminist currents. We are not going to carry out a study of these criticisms here. None the less, we would formulate a nuance that strikes us as important. The anatomical dimension cannot be thought of here as something that embraces the human body as an expression of nature.

Thus, we are being invited to read afresh, with this clarification of gender, that which appears to us to be the main lines of tension that account for the interactions between psychoanalysis and other discourses. If we observe what the theoretical controversies have been able to produce by way of debate, we are able to situate first of all the battle between the theory of psychoanalysis and queer theory, for example.

The Woman Within

Gay culture in this most visible mode is anything but external to advanced capitalism and to precisely those features of advanced capitalism that many on the left are most eager to disavow. Post-Stonewall urban gay men reek of the commodity. Fear of a Queer Planet Without doubt this is the sign of an historical attachment to the epistemological moment of French Theory, which tends to freeze epistemological points of correspondence with thoughts that are contemporary to it.

These underlying historical and epistemological points of correspondence will have to be developed and studied in greater depth. Sadly, we will not be able to set out this work here.

A Psychoanalytic Essay on Femininity

Restored to the historical context in which it first appeared in the field of the medical and the social, gender is studied here from its various angles, opening a field of study between politics and clinical practice in which we meet love and its forms of expression, desire, the body, the social bond, motherhood, women and creation. Therefore, it is a matter of shedding light on the notion of gender that from this moment forth is part of the contemporary epistemological landscape. Psychoanalysis is a fact of culture and the studies on gender remind us of this. Is gender able to shed light on this primitive link to the social within the analytical practice?

While the notion of gender seemed to be confined, right from the very start, to the clinical practices that deal with disturbances of sexual identity, political, historical, sociological and psychoanalytical works on the subject sometimes allow us to suspect the possibility of a much wider clinical field. Is not this field, which has to do with the social and with the way in which the subject appropriates for him or herself the messages that are addressed to him or her, also the field of psychoanalysis?

He makes a clear cut distinction between what Stoller contributed, refuting the division between anatomy and psychology, in order to prefer the following:. Anatomy and the psychical are thus concerned at each step, and it is up to the feminine and the masculine to hold the historical keys of a division or a recognition of the other. Essays on Recognition and Sexual Difference.

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A representative of the inter subjectivity current in the United States, Benjamin dedicated a number of her texts to these questions. Following Karen Horney, Benjamin resumes the critique of this approach in order to question the Oedipal turnaround of active and passive in the girl who thereby integrates the feminine. Then, she sets out the reading and the analyses of the works of Freud by K. What do the contemporaries of Freud say on these questions, at a time when the notion of gender is not explicitly exposed, but is perhaps already at work to some degree in its social and cultural aspects in particular?

Female Sexuality, translated by J Although gender is not the direct object of these reflections, today we can read, between the lines, certain resonances of it through the way in which these questions are being posed in our modern era. Well prior to the publication of his article on the consequences of anatomy, Freud was already being discussed quite directly in the articles of Abraham, of Horney or of Deutsch, who produced extremely important clinical observations and clinical elaborations on the castration complex in women, and its consequences for the understanding of sexual development.

The influence of a feminine analytical thought would deserve to be developed in greater detail, but unfortunately we will not be able to go into it on this occasion. Lecture 33 in the New New Ways in Psychoanalysis In this book her disagreements with Freud are laid out with greater precision. She strives to open up some lines of enquiry for further work on the basis of what she had met in terms of therapeutic and theoretical dead ends, asking to revise, in her words, some of the givens of the psychoanalytical corpus.

In her view, the Freudian conception of femininity deserves to be broached from a critical stance, in order to highlight the lack of consideration of the weight of social and cultural determinants over women. It is on this basis that she suggests the following conclusion:.


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But since he has a primarily biological orientation Freud does not, and on the basis of his premises cannot, see the whole significance of these factors. He cannot see to what extent they mold wishes and attitudes, nor can he evaluate the complexity of interactions between cultural conditions and feminine psychology.

I suppose everyone agrees with Freud that differences in sexual constitution and functions influence mental life. But it seems unconstructive to speculate on the exact nature of this influence. The American woman is different from the German woman; both are different from certain Pueblo Indian women. The way specific cultural conditions engender specific qualities and faculties, in women as in men — this is what we may hope to understand. The Psychology of Women, New York This book takes up her first advances from and pursues her reflections further.

On female psychology, she dedicates the last chapter to the psychoanalytical conception of this question it its relationships with the social condition. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A Psychoanalytic Essay on Femininity 0.