Sexual Difference in Debate: Bodies, Desires, and Fictions
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Now well into the twenty-first century, relevant changes in symbolic codes that organize social bonds are observed. Important modifications regarding the model of the nuclear family in Western society, the vicissitudes of desire and changing identities, as well as advances in biotechnology and informatics, are leading to a re-consideration of previously accepted concepts of the masculine-feminine polarity and the notion of sexual difference.
In this context, new forms of subjectivity - including sexual and gender migrations - open an inquiry regarding the way these presentations challenge traditional psychoanalytic theories. Thus, an opportunity emerges to investigate the whole spectrum of subjectivities that have no place in orthodox masculine-feminine duality, and to think about these matters beyond reductionist moralities yet avoiding acritical positions.
The greater part of this book focuses on a critical analysis of the logics and ways of thinking supporting both explicit and implicit theories of sexual difference and the masculine/feminine pair. These theories may be private or collective; conscious, preconscious, or unconscious. They impact heavily on interpretations and constructions made in analytic practice, while they also affect transference-countertransference patterns.
This conceptual analysis reviews the Freudian oeuvre as well as the work of other significant authors, post-Freudian and contemporary, that have contributed specifically to this topic. The concept of sexual difference contains a persistent problem: binary, dichotomous thinking and its blind spots and aporias. For this reason, the author has turned to other epistemologies that offer novel forms to think about the same problems, such as the paradigm of hyper-complexity, as well as thinking at intersections and limits between different categories. The objective is to rethink the construction of sexed subjectivity and its conflict with consensual ideals and legalities, by means of focusing on problems triggered by the notion of sexual difference, but also considering alternative epistemological approaches to it.
Reviews and Endorsements
‘Sexual Difference in Debate is a remarkable book in which Leticia Glocer Fiorini shows the evolution of psychoanalytic thinking concerning sexuality, and describes her own original contributions for a better understanding of sexual difference. In this sense, her book is both rooted in classical psychoanalytic formulations and presents a contemporary and fresh look at this challenging field, which is at the core of psychoanalytic theory and practice. I strongly recommend it, both to seasoned analysts and to those who are beginners in our field. The elegant style and the convincing evidence displayed masterfully by Glocer Fiorini are a source of stimulation to improve our theoretical understanding and our clinical skills.’
–– Cláudio Laks Eizirik, past president of the International Psychoanalytical Association
‘In this book of crucial importance, Leticia Glocer Fiorini, anchored in a deep knowledge
of the Freudian corpus, tackles fundamental contemporary questions. Combining a rare transcultural erudition with a concise and clear style, the author revisits the question of the difference between the sexes. She thus links up developments of contemporary psychoanalysis with recent philosophical and anthropological contributions. These rigorous analyses enable her, among other things, to shift the “enigma of the feminine” on to the enigma of alterity and the question of the “father” on to that of a third function. With this book, Glocer Fiorini has opened up a genuine interdisciplinary debate.’
–– Marilia Aisenstein, training analyst of the Hellenic Psychoanalytical Society and the Paris Psychoanalytical Society; former president of the Paris Society and of the Paris Psychosomatic Institute
About the Author(s)
Leticia Glocer Fiorini is a training psychoanalyst of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association. She is the author of The Feminine and the Complex Thought, Deconstructing the Feminine: Psychoanalysis, Gender and Theories of Complexity, and editor of The Other in the Intersubjective Field and Time, History and Structure. A Psychoanalytical Approach. Among other contributions in psychoanalytic journals she has published 'The enigma of the sexual difference', in Feminine Scenarios""; 'Assisted fertilization, new problems' in Prevention in Mental Health; 'The sexed body and the real, its meaning in transsexualism' in Masculine Scenarios; 'Psychoanalysis and Gender, Convergences and Divergences' in Psychoanalysis and Gender Relations; and 'The bodies of present-day maternity' in Motherhood in the Twenty-first Century.
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