Psychoanalytic Feminism

Authored by: Lisa Baraitser

Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138696310
eBook ISBN: 9781315524771
Adobe ISBN:


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The relationship between psychoanalysis and feminism began in Freud’s lifetime with debates about Freud’s theories of female sexuality, femininity, the maternal, and the centrality of castration in psychic life. The proximity between the two terms emerges again after 1968, when they become entangled with one another historically, each functioning as an internal critique of the other. Feminists of color and queer and transgender theorists push this tension further. Central issues for feminism, such as the question of sexual difference and its relation to other differences, desire, equality, patriarchy, colonialism, autonomy, reproduction, speech, embodiment, and recognition, are both enriched and restrained by psychoanalytic theory and practice, neither able to quite free itself of the other.

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