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Chapter Sixteen: Conclusions and Openings

Leticia Glocer Fiorini Karnac Books ePub

Sexual difference and the logic of complexity

The objective we proposed in this book was to examine blind spots and aporias in relation to the notion of sexual difference in the psychoanalytical field. We started with theoretical and clinical challenges presented by both sexual diversities and changes observed in experiences of men and women in the contemporary world.

We focused this study on an analysis at the limits, an intra- and interdisciplinary approach that involves establishing inevitable relations between the concept of sexual difference in different theories within the psychoanalytical field and in other disciplines, in the frame of consensual social and cultural discourses.

To reach these aims, our approach proposed a genealogical analysis and deconstruction of the category “sexual difference” in psychoanalysis, clarification of logics supporting it, and debates around it. This presupposes that deconstruction is necessary when problems arise which cannot be solved within the coordinates of a given theoretical frame, and also that this may ultimately lead to new constructions through a constantly ongoing process.

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Chapter Fifteen: Deconstructing the Paternal Function—Paternal Function or Third-Party Function?

Leticia Glocer Fiorini Karnac Books ePub

Recent decades have seen much discussion regarding the anthropological, social, cultural and psychological meaning of the nuclear family and its functions. Some of the themes explored clearly concern the psychoanalytic field, especially if we consider that the Oedipus complex replicates the organisation of the nuclear family. More specifically, in reference to the functions of its members, mother and father; both practical, everyday functions as well as those exercised on a symbolic level. These two levels are different, but there is a correlation between them.

Although these debates date quite far back, they have been intensified by diverse and very significant factors that we observe in contemporary societies, mainly occidental, but presently expanding to other cultures. Some changes in family organisation (homoparental families, assembled and single parent families) are widely known, to which we may add frequent phenomena of “castling” in everyday functions of mothers and fathers, since work and taking care of children are not tasks assignable to fathers and mothers, respectively. Also quite significant are changes in the place occupied by women, mainly in occidental societies, from women's access to the workforce, marked by the First World War, to the use of contraceptives.

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Chapter Fourteen: Sexual Difference and Binary Logic

Leticia Glocer Fiorini Karnac Books ePub

This chapter is framed in a context in which we observe two important theoretical and experiential problems that we have discussed: gender violence and what is termed sexual diversities. These problems, analysed by different disciplines, are manifest in contemporary social practices and pertain to both the psychoanalytic field and gender theory.

Both topics put the concept of sexual and gender difference in tension and bring us to analyse theoretical interpretations of masculine/feminine polarity as well as the logics applied to their examination. These are inevitable reference points for inquiry into the concept of difference. We are confronting a challenge for the psychoanalytic field, since their theoretical interpretation influences clinical practice and the therapeutic process. Conversely, clinical practice immerses psychoanalysts in these problem areas that deserve openings on theoretical and epistemological planes. As we said elsewhere, gender violence entails notions such as the relation between sexuality and gender, the concept of sexual difference, meanings assigned to masculine/feminine categories and gender identity, as well as analysis of the power and domination networks involved, among other issues. Sexual diversities also aim to interrogate the same categories (Glocer Fiorini, 2010b, 2010c).

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Chapter Eleven: Bodies, Fictions, and Desires in Contemporary Maternities and Paternities

Leticia Glocer Fiorini Karnac Books ePub

Analysis of maternities and paternities in the twenty-first century requires us to reflect on meanings of generating life in unconventional ways. This endeavour involves the issue of origins. It also implies a review of conceptions of sexual difference associated with notions of maternity and paternity.

For psychoanalysis, these biotechnological challenges come in from its boundaries. We are observing novel facts that are nonetheless established practices. We know that these advances permeate discourses and social custom, which obliges us to reflect on the scale and limits of these technologies, and their effects on analysts and patients. This confrontation tests our psychoanalytical and psychotherapeutic tool.

This revolution in the reproductive area is both a biotechnological and symbolic event. It is true that we face a risk of “naturalising” these proposals although we are, on the other hand, confronted with operatory procedures that call for reflection in view of the problems they create for both the psychoanalytic perspective as well as for other disciplines. We believe that any hasty “naturalisation” of these techniques may conceal or split off important aspects concerning their possible effects on the psyche.

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Chapter Thirteen: Power Relations and Sexual Difference

Leticia Glocer Fiorini Karnac Books ePub

Sexual and gender violence

We are too familiar with phenomena of sexual violence manifested in intersubjective relations that also permeate social bonds. They may emerge in parent–child relationships, in heterosexual or homosexual couples, and in other types of relations.

We need to remember that sexual violence may be visible or invisible. It is expressed through implicit or concealed power over subjectivities and bodies that sustain relations of domination and may eventually materialise in phenomena of violence towards them. This power objectifies them and converts women, children or others occupying this place into recipients of diverse effects of sexual violence.

Our intention is to address power relations that support acts of sexual violence, focusing especially on their relation to masculine–feminine polarity. For this purpose, we investigate their sources and inquire deeply into the modes and categories of thought subjacent to these phenomena. These categories that impregnate our psyche, theories, and discourses call for deconstruction.

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