Synopses & Reviews
From the perspective of developmental psychoanalysis, Jessica Benjamin, the author of The Bonds of Love, makes the case for what she calls "gender heterodoxy" -- a highly original view of the similarities and differences between the sexes. In the process she illuminates aspects of love, sexuality, aggression, and pornography.
"An innovative and invaluable contribution to the psychoanalytic theory of gender and development that achieves a depth of insight and subtle complexity rarely found in psychoanalytic writing.... All analysts owe it to themselves and their patients to read it". -- Frank Summers, Psychoanalytic Books
"With this remarkable book, Jessica Benjamin not only fosters the dialogue between object-relations theory and poststructuralist feminist thought; she provides the conditions for a renewal in the dialogue between psychoanalysis and feminism. She does this with all the lucidity and tremendous insight which we associate with her work". -- Teresa Brennan, New School for Social Research
"In these essays Jessica Benjamin brilliantly examines the nature of gender and intersubjectivity. These are topics of enormous complexity to which Benjamin brings an intelligence that is never reductive or dogmatic. She maintains a subtle, multileveled sensibility that is truly outstanding". -- Arnold Modell, M.D., Harvard Medical School
"This major original work, integrating developmental and intersubjective theory, enriches our understanding of gender and sexuality, fantasy and reality, giving the lie to any simplistic notion of 'normative.' Accessible, systematic, and pertinent to clinical practice". -- Ethel Spector Person, M.D., author of By Force of Fantasy
"No one readingJessica Benjamin can fail to admire her shrewd yet fair-minded assessment of contemporary psychoanalytic thinking. Her encounter with 'others' becomes an internalized dialogue that focuses intelligently on many of the most important issues of our time. These essays are worth reading, above all else because Benjamin is one of the most creative psychoanalytical writers of our time and her impassioned yet tolerant voice is wonderful". -- Christopher Bollas
In this important book, the author of The Bonds of Love discusses gender issues from the perspective of developmental psychoanalysis. Jessica Benjamin, a well-known psychoanalyst and feminist, makes a case for what she calls "gender heterodoxy"--a highly original view of the similarities and differences between the sexes--and in the process she illuminates aspects of love, sexuality, aggression, and pornography.
Benjamin elaborates and develops the psychoanalytic theory of intersubjectivity, taking up the question: What difference does it make when I consider the Other to be not merely an object of my mind but a subject in his or her own right, with a center of being equivalent to my own? This question of recognition is closely related to how we frame, tolerate, and theorize difference and is therefore tied to the issue of gender. Benjamin argues that intersubjective theory does not replace but rather adds to the existing intrapsychic theory of psychoanalysis, which focuses on the individual. Her both/and (as opposed to either/or) approach is carried throughout the book, for Benjamin brilliantly integrates relational and Freudian positions, feminist and psychoanalytic theory, and clinical and theoretical information.