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Femininities, Masculinities, Sexualities: Freud and Beyond

by Nancy J. Chodorow

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Blazer Lectures
144 pages  Pubdate: 04/23/2014  5.5 x 8.5  

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Nancy J. Chodorow takes her fellow psychoanalysts to task for their monolithic and pathologizing accounts of deviant gender and sexuality. Drawing from her own clinical experience, the work of Freud, and a close reading of psychoanalytic texts, Chodorow argues that psychoanalysis has yet to disentangle male dominance from heterosexuality. Further, she demonstrates the paucity of psychoanalytics understanding of heterosexuality and the problematic polarizing of normal and abnormal sexualities. By returning to Freud and interpreting psychoanalysis through clinical eyes, Chodorow contends that psychoanalysis must consider individual specificity and personal, cultural, and social factors. Such a methodology entails a plurality of femininities and masculinities and enables us to understand a variety of sexualities.

A provocative reminder that these are complex issues and that humans, with their capacity for individual variation, are complicated subjects. -- Kirkus Reviews

Raises challenging questions but makes no easy answers. -- Psychoanalytic Quarterly

[Chodorow's] convincing analysis leads us to wonder whether it is any longer useful to think in terms of a normative boy and girl, man and woman, father and mother, and heterosexual and homosexual. -- Sally Moskowitz

Chodorow helps us through the dense riches of Freud's writing, signposting his scattered but significant moments of empathy with women's subjective experience even as she takes apart his objectified, masculine images. -- The Women's Review of Books