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Psychoanalytic Feminism

Kristina Wolff

Subject Gender Studies
Sociology » Sociology of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

Key-Topics feminism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Psychoanalytic feminism is a theory of oppression, which asserts that men have an inherent psychological need to subjugate women. The root of men's compulsion to dominate women and women's minimal resistance to subjugation lies deep within the human psyche. This branch of feminism seeks to gain insight into how our psychic lives develop in order to better understand and change women's oppression. The pattern of oppression is also integrated into society, thus creating and sustaining patriarchy. Through the application of psychoanalytic techniques to studying differences between women and men as well as the ways in which gender is constructed, it is possible to reorganize socialization patterns at the early stages of human life. Societal change, or a “cure,” can be developed through discovering the source of domination in men's psyche and subordination in women's, which largely resides unrecognized in individuals' unconscious. This type of feminism emerged out of cultural feminism , which investigates the differences between women and men to understand women's positions in society. Psychoanalytic feminists concentrate on early childhood development, primarily before the age of 3, examining how gender is constructed and practiced on societal, familial, and individual levels. Through understanding how the conscious aspects of personality evolve at the infant stages of life, we better ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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