Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see definitions for highlighted words…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Some important words in PEP Web articles are highlighted when you place your mouse pointer over them. Clicking on the words will display a definition from a psychoanalytic dictionary in a small window.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Layton, L. (1997). The Doer behind the Deed: Tensions and Intersections between Butler's Vision of Performativity and Relational Psychoanalysis. Gender and Psychoanalysis, 2(2):131-155.

(1997). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 2(2):131-155

The Doer behind the Deed: Tensions and Intersections between Butler's Vision of Performativity and Relational Psychoanalysis Related Papers

Lynne Layton, Ph.D.

This paper reviews the evolution in Judith Butler's work of the concept that gender identities are performative. The paper explicates Butler's ideas on subject formation and gender identity for an audience not familiar with her work. It then discusses Butler's shift over time from a nonpsychoanalytic to a psychoanalytic conception of identity and performativity. I argue that this shift brings Butler's views on gender identity closer to those of relational analytic feminists, but that Butler's grounding of identity in a Freudian object relations model prevents a fuller exploration of the relational motives behind enacting (or refusing to enact) cultural norms. In the latter part of the paper, I draw on Butler's idea that performativity is linked to melancholia to discuss the cultural prevalence of dysthymia. An integration of relational psychoanalytic theory with Butler's focus on the citing of norms and subject formation might offer clinicians a nonreductive way to connect individual experience with the dictates of culture.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.