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Butler, J. (1997). Response to Lynne Layton's: “The Doer behind the Deed Tensions and Intersections between Butler's Vision of Performativity and Relational Psychoanalysis” (Vol. 2, No. 2, 1997). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 2(4):515-520.

(1997). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 2(4):515-520

Response to Lynne Layton's: “The Doer behind the Deed Tensions and Intersections between Butler's Vision of Performativity and Relational Psychoanalysis” (Vol. 2, No. 2, 1997) Related Papers

Judith Butler, Ph.D.

Lynne Layton's very interesting essay offers a careful and comprehensive review of some of my writings on the topic of gender and psychoanalysis, and I found that I was able to learn from the essay and to appreciate its provocative suggestions, even as I am not fully sure how best to answer some of its queries.

There are a number of significant claims made in the essay, and I will try to distinguish among the most salient ones. First, Layton wonders what the relation between my work and relational psychoanalysis has been and can be, and she suggests that I have in the last seven years moved closer to a relational perspective. Although the notion of gender performativity in Gender Trouble is, in her view, not a psychoanalytic view, the subsequent reformulations that affirm a primary splitting or disavowal in the performance of gender move my theory into a psychoanalytic register. She suggests, however, that it remains unclear whether or not I can offer a motivational theory for my account of subject formation, and whether I can affirm an internal psychic world.

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