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Cavell, M. (1998). Fatherless Society, Instinct, Subject. On Jessica Benjamin's Critique of Central Psychoanalytic/Sociopsychological Categories. Hans-Joachim Busch. Pp. 881-901. Psychoanal Q., 67(3):537.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Fatherless Society, Instinct, Subject. On Jessica Benjamin's Critique of Central Psychoanalytic/Sociopsychological Categories. Hans-Joachim Busch. Pp. 881-901

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(3):537

Fatherless Society, Instinct, Subject. On Jessica Benjamin's Critique of Central Psychoanalytic/Sociopsychological Categories. Hans-Joachim Busch. Pp. 881-901

Marcia Cavell

In Benjamin's view, the present discontents of our civilization are rooted not in the repression and cultural disintegration of instincts but in an unreconciled relationship between the sexes precluding the kind of intersubjective acceptance and recognition from which genuine reciprocity and a mutually caring attitude spring. Busch concedes that Benjamin's critique of classical psychoanalytic social psychology from Freud through Horkheimer/Adorno, Marcuse, and Mitscherlich to Lorenzer does in fact pinpoint a blind spot, i.e., the failure of socialization theory to give the mother-daughter relationship anything like the same prominence as the genealogy of father and son. At the same time, however, he reminds Benjamin that the theory of instincts, the intrasubjective approach fundamental to psychoanalysis, and the theorem of the fatherless society are not of themselves distortions born of patriarchal thinking but represent rather a workable basis for investigating the reasons for the discontents engendered by civilization.

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Article Citation

Cavell, M. (1998). Fatherless Society, Instinct, Subject. On Jessica Benjamin's Critique of Central Psychoanalytic/Sociopsychological Categories. Hans-Joachim Busch.. Psychoanal. Q., 67(3):537

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