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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is concerned with exploring the relevance of gender as a critical category for clinical psychoanalysis. It recognizes two developments in the late twentieth century that may appear to present gender as either not a pressing issue in self-development or as sufficiently troubled and undone to have lost its regulatory grip. The first concerns the domination of the psychoanalytic imagination with preoccupations other than sexuality, sexual difference, and gender; and the second is linked to the deconstruction and reconstruction of hetero-normative gendered frameworks initiated by cultural gender theorists. It is argued that the gendered binary of Western thought with its socially normative values and assumptions shapes the unconscious minds of every person. Notwithstanding critical appreciation of the gendered discourses of psychoanalysis as well as expanded thinking about the possible repertoire of individual gender variations, gender continues to carry evaluative burdens.

Keywords: gender, sexual difference, gendered discourses, clinical psychoanalysis, power

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