Sexual contradictions : psychology, psychoanalysis, and feminism / Janet Sayers.

by Sayers, JanetLooking glass.

Publisher: London : Tavistock, 1986.Description: x,214 pages : illustrations ; 23cm.ISBN: 0422787809; 0422787906.Subject(s): Interpersonal relationsLooking glass | MenLooking glass | WomenLooking glassNote: Bibliography, pages 182-203. - Includes index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Long loan Central Saint Martins
Main collection
Printed books 305.3 SAY (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Issued 06/12/2021 10068872
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Bibliography, pages 182-203. - Includes index.

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Contemporary feminism frequently dismisses Freud as quaint, condescending, and irrelevant. In this thoughtful and comprehensive defense of his work, Sayers (Keynes College and the author of Biological Politics, CH, Oct '82) effectively reopens the discussion. The contradictions between women's aspirations and their acquiescence are contrasted in three major schools of thought: biological determinism, cognitive-developmental theory, and social learning theory. Judged more useful in accounting for subordination than for resistance in women, these approaches are deemed insufficient to explain the persistence of men's social dominance under social systems which ideologically promote equity. Four post-Freudian approaches are presented to probe the persistence of the conflicts associated with gender: essentialism; object relations; the work of Melanie Klein; and the strategies of Lacan. Sayers claims that these approaches do not sufficiently focus on the processes by which contradictions determine women's psychology. In the final section the author considers various therapeutic interventions. Crediting Freud with the initial appreciation of the significance of sexual contradictions, Sayers nevertheless suggests a resolution that can only be achieved through collection action. Well referenced and indexed, Sayers's comprehensive work goes far to heal the breach between feminism and Freudianism. At times the Freudian terminology is obscure and the treatment of alternative views is somewhat superficial. Both Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice (1982) and E.E. Maccoby and C.N. Jacklin's The Psychology of Sex Differences (1975) are deserving of more extended and sympathetic treatment. Nonetheless, this book is an important addition to upper-division and graduate psychology collections.-L.M.C. Abbott, California School of Professional Psychology-Fresno