Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To sort articles by Rankā€¦

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can specify Rank as the sort order when searching (it’s the default) which will put the articles which best matched your search on the top, and the complete results in descending relevance to your search. This feature is useful for finding the most important articles on a specific topic.

You can also change the sort order of results by selecting rank at the top of the search results pane after you perform a search. Note that rank order after a search only ranks up to 1000 maximum results that were returned; specifying rank in the search dialog ranks all possibilities before choosing the final 1000 (or less) to return.

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

Lin, L. (2016). Something and Nothing: On the Psychopolitics of Breasts and Breastlessness. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 17(1):45-56.

(2016). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 17(1):45-56

Something and Nothing: On the Psychopolitics of Breasts and Breastlessness

Lana Lin, Ph.D.

This article explores the social pressure to reconstruct the postmastectomy body. Relying on psychoanalytic and social theory, as well as personal experience, I observe that fetishism characterizes the prevailing discourse of breast reconstruction. I consider whether the urge to reconstruct the breast can be traced to a regressive desire to restore the first object. I also propose that breast reconstruction is recruited to resolve the gender anxiety that a postmastectomy woman’s absent breast(s) provoke. Although the recipient of breast augmentation is frequently pathologized, it is the woman who “refuses” reconstructive surgery who is often viewed as abnormal. Following Louise Kaplan’s (2000) definition of fetishistic strategy as the use of a vivid foreground to obscure a threatening background, reconstructed breasts can supply a vivid foreground that serves not only to attenuate the threat to life that cancer poses but also to obscure the challenge to normative gender constructions that visibly breast-free women prompt. Drawing on Winnicott’s (1953) concept of the transitional object and Helene Moglen’s (2008) formulation of transageing, I conclude by reflecting on how a breast lost to cancer can be creatively mourned.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.