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Psychoanalytic theories of Gender

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posted on 2018-09-05, 00:00 authored by Maree PardyMaree Pardy
Psychoanalysis posits gender, sexuality, and sexual desire as effects of the prohibitions related to the incest taboo and kinship. Unlike functionalist and structural approaches that understand gender as the social and cultural elaboration of biology, psychoanalysis focuses on kinship as the site of the Oedipus complex that institutes gender through desire. Freud's insistence on the universality of this theory has drawn the ire of feminists; its foreclosure of sexualities has troubled queer theorists; and its universal model of psychosexual structures and its imperviousness to cultural variation have intrigued and bothered anthropologists. In a post‐Freudian world, however, anthropologists have used psychoanalysis to plumb the relations between self, society, and power. Feminist and queer anthropologists consider how the psyche, body, and history co‐constitute sexed beings. Exploring the role of fantasy, desire, and imaginaries, they examine how cultural norms are accepted and reproduced, and emphasize the mutual dependence of inner and sociocultural worlds.

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Alternative title

Gender, Psychoanalytic theories of

Pagination

1-5

ISBN-13

9781118924396

Language

Eng

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Editor/Contributor(s)

Callan H

Publisher

Wiley

Place of publication

London, Eng.

Title of book

International encyclopedia of anthropology

Series

WIley International Encyclopedia

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