Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and Maternal Subjectivity

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-09-23
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Stone develops a feminist approach to maternal subjectivity in this original study. Her starting point is that the speaking subject has traditionally been constructed as an inherently male position, predicated on separation from and repression of relations to the maternal body. The maternal body has thus been defined in antithesis to subjectivity, as the background, environment, first home and container, which everyone must leave behind. In contrast, Stone attempts to imagine a distinctive maternal subject-position: to redefine the mother as subject rather than object over against the subjectivity of the child--her traditional place within Western culture and psychoanalysis. Building upon the work of feminist theorists including Christine Battersby, Adriana Caverero, Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger, and Luce Irigaray, Stone envisages a female subject who is in a process of ongoing differentiation from and ongoing connection with her mother as another speaking subject. Her overall focus is on the symbolic frameworks within which maternal experiences, fantasies, and relations are understood and lived, and how these might be lived differently in a culture that recognized our primacy dependency on the maternal body.

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