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PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Source. This will rearrange the results of your search, displaying articles according to their appearance in journals and books. This feature is useful for tracing psychoanalytic concepts in a specific psychoanalytic tradition.

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

Esman, A.H. (2001). The Power of Feelings. Nancy J. Chodorow. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 1999. Pp. xi + 328.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82(1):201-202.

(2001). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82(1):201-202

The Power of Feelings. Nancy J. Chodorow. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 1999. Pp. xi + 328.

Review by:
Aaron H. Esman

For the past decade and more, Nancy Chodorow has sought to synthesise her academic background in sociology, her deep feminist commitment and her immersion in psychoanalytic theory and practice, aiming both to broaden the vistas of social science and to reorientate psychoanalysis to a more inclusive, even a postmodernist vision. In her newest book she pursues these aims even further, taking on a new challenge—that of fostering an integration of psychoanalysis and anthropology; of restoring, that is, an alliance, once strong and mutually sustaining, but now fallen into desuetude from both sides. At the same time, she addresses the current controversy within psychoanalysis between the social-constructivists-cum-culturalists and the partisans of classical intrapsychic conflict theory, proposing a ‘both-and’ position that, once again, searches for an integrated viewpoint.

In her pursuit of the latter goal, her principal source of inspiration is Hans Loewald, whose interactionist conception of psychic development she consistently favours over the ‘biological determinism’ of classical ego-psychology with its ‘fixed developmental schema’ and what she posits as the ‘rigidities’ of the structural theory. Strongly influenced, too, by Klein, she counters the social constructivist and intersubjectivist views of mind with a vigorous assertion of the power of intrapsychic fantasy as it reveals itself in the ‘clinical encounter’.

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