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Mitchell, J. (2002). Reply to Lynne Segal's Commentary. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 3(2):217-228.

(2002). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 3(2):217-228

Reply to Lynne Segal's Commentary Related Papers

Juliet Mitchell, Ph.D.

The author explains why her work differs from the feminist uses of psychoanalysis that Segal admires. The key to the disagreement with Segal here is understanding what is meant by unconscious processes. The author maintains that these are always transformations. Unlike conscious fantasies, they are often bizarre, as in delusions, hallucinations, primitive fantasies, and the like. So far only a psychoanalytic method can access them. The work Segal prefers charts accessible preconscious identifications in an untransformed way, which by definition reflects “social reality.” The political/feminist use of the latter is likely to be easier, but it is working on different ground from that which interests the author.

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