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Layton, L. (1998). Gender as a Personal and Cultural Construction: Nancy J. Chodorow. Signs. XX, 1995. Pp. 516-544. Psychoanal Q., 67(2):343.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Gender as a Personal and Cultural Construction: Nancy J. Chodorow. Signs. XX, 1995. Pp. 516-544

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(2):343

Gender as a Personal and Cultural Construction: Nancy J. Chodorow. Signs. XX, 1995. Pp. 516-544

Lynne Layton

Chodorow's concern here is that feminists who have turned away from psychoanalysis to focus only on discursive and cultural processes miss something crucial about the nature of gender identity. In the same way, psychoanalysts and psychologists who think that the intrapsychic can be considered apart from culture and its symbolic systems cannot fully account for gender identity. Chodorow's thesis is that “gender cannot be seen as entirely culturally, linguistically, or politically constructed. Rather, there are individual psychological processes in addition to, and in a different register from culture, language, and power relations that construct gender for the individual. Meaning … is always psychologically particular to the individual.” Because of the personal nature of gender identity, Chodorow contends that there are many individual masculinities and femininities. The processes of emotion, fantasy, and self-construction can be made universal, but not the content.

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Article Citation

Layton, L. (1998). Gender as a Personal and Cultural Construction. Psychoanal. Q., 67(2):343

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