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Freudian Analysts/Feminist Issues

Freudian Analysts/Feminist Issues

Judith M. Hughes
Copyright Date: 1999
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    Freudian Analysts/Feminist Issues
    Book Description:

    In this important book Judith M. Hughes makes a highly original case for conceptualizing gender identity as potentially multiple. She does so by situating her argument within the history of psychoanalysis.Hughes traces a series of conceptual lineages, each descending from Freud. In the study Helene Deutsch, Karen Horney, and Melanie Klein occupy prominent places. So too do Erik H. Erikson and Robert J. Stoller. Among contemporary theorists Carol Gilligan and Nancy Chodorow are included in Hughes's roster.In each lineage Hughes discerns an evolutionary narrative: Deutsch tells a story of retrogression; Erikson names his epigenesis, and Gilligan continues in that vein; Horney's discussion recalls sexual selection; Stoller's and Chodorow's theorizing brings artificial selection to mind; and finally in Klein's work Hughes sees a story of natural selection and adds to it her own notion of multiple gender identities.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-14718-6
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-3)

    “The sexual life of adult women,” Freud wrote in 1926, “is a ‘dark continent’ for psychology.”¹ How did Freud and psychoanalysts after him explore that continent? What bits and pieces of theory did they pack in their baggage? What maps did they devise along the way? And how after their return did they fashion their tales? These questions are not new. Over the past twenty years, psychoanalytic accounts of women, of their bodies, their gender identity, and their sexuality have been appropriated also in bits and pieces by feminist theorists. The connections, however, among the items packed in psychoanalysts’ baggage...

  5. Chapter 1 Retrogression
    (pp. 4-28)
    Helene Deutsch

    “Retrogression”—a backward or reversed movement, a return to a less advanced state, a reversal of development—conjures up the world of late nineteenth-century biology, the world of Charles Darwin and Ernst Haeckel. It was a world of permeable disciplinary boundaries, a world in which biological categories or terms might serve a variety of theoretical functions in the social or human sciences—homology, analogy, and metaphor among them.¹ Freud himself did not hesitate to borrow from biology or even to engage in biological speculation—though biological determinism was not a feature of his thought. (Given his Lamarckianism, how could it...

  6. Chapter 2 Epigenesis
    (pp. 29-59)
    Erik H. Erikson and Carol Gilligan

    “Epigenesis”—the sequential differentiation, during embryological development, of organs from simpler rudiments—has an eighteenth-century pedigree. In biology textbooks one finds mention of a battle waged more than two hundred years ago between preformationists and epigeneticists. The former, the first in the field, “held that the embryo was preformed in the germ … as a tiny … individual with all its organs and parts already present, and that development was merely the enlarging and unfolding of this minute bud into the newborn baby.” None of this, they acknowledged, was visible with the microscopes then available. The opposing camp, the epigeneticists,...

  7. Chapter 3 Sexual Selection
    (pp. 60-86)
    Karen Horney

    As early as the late eighteenth century, animal breeders noted that females showed a preference for the more vigorous males; not until Charles Darwin, however, did the process by which an individual male gained reproductive advantage by being more attractive to individual females acquire a name. InThe Descent of Man(1871), selection in relation to sex or sexual selection occupied nearly three quarters of the whole work. And then it languished: until recently sexual selection suffered from neglect if not outright rejection. Males and females are crucially different—so the now scientifically respectable argument runs—in their “investment” practices....

  8. Chapter 4 Artificial Selection
    (pp. 87-124)
    Robert J. Stoller and Nancy Chodorow

    After his return to England in 1837, Charles Darwin began “collecting all facts which bore in any way on the variation of animals and plants under domestication”—in hopes, as he commented in hisAutobiography, that some light would be thrown on the subject of species modification. Thanks to the writings of animal breeders, he soon came to recognize the power of judiciously selecting males and females to propagate. Artificial selection, he noted, was “the keystone of man’s success in making useful races of animals and plants.” Thus, he continued, happening “to read for amusement Malthus onPopulation,” he was...

  9. Chapter 5 Natural Selection
    (pp. 125-155)
    Melanie Klein and Judith M. Hughes

    “Natural Selection; Or the Survival of the Fittest” is the title Darwin gave to the fourth chapter of hisOn the Origin of Species(1859). This, he wrote in his introduction, was “the doctrine of Malthus applied to the whole of the animal and vegetable kingdoms.”

    As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance...

  10. Conclusion: The Narrative of Choice
    (pp. 156-163)

    In setting out to make a contribution to the debate about psychoanalysis and feminism, I announced my intention to exploit the notion of science as a selection process. I did not make a case for psychoanalysis as science. That vexed question would require a study in its own right, one that would at the same time address what ranks as a scientific endeavor. Nor did I make a case for the particular notion of science I planned to use. I simply adopted one, and, then, in accord with the model adopted, I wrote of the combination and recombination of ideas...

  11. Abbreviations
    (pp. 164-164)
  12. Notes
    (pp. 165-185)
  13. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 186-211)
  14. Index
    (pp. 212-222)