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Sexual identity, identification and difference A psychoanalytic contribution to discourse theory

Glynos, J (2000) 'Sexual identity, identification and difference A psychoanalytic contribution to discourse theory.' Philosophy and Social Criticism, 26 (6). pp. 85-108. ISSN 0191-4537

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Abstract

This essay focuses on an issue arising from within an anti-essentialist perspective on sexual identity: how is it possible to explain the political impetus inhering in a category such as ?woman? without having recourse to a set of positive properties that would somehow ?x her identity in advance? I examine how a particular theoretical outlook, social postmodernism, attempts to address this issue, and argue that, ultimately, social postmodernism generates its own impasse which I call social foundationalism ? an impasse which is structurally similar to biological foundationalism. I invoke discourse-theoretic concepts to introduce the psychoanalytic categories of master signi?er and symbolic identi?cation. This is done in order to suggest how Lacanian psychoanalysis permits us to theorize sexual difference in a way that avoids both biological foundationalism and social foundationalism.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: discourse theory � identi?cation � identity � Lacan � poststructuralism � psychoanalysis � sexual difference � social postmodernism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0500 Psychoanalysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2015 14:21
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:19
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10163

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