Democracy Growing Up: Authority, Autonomy, and Passion in Tocqueville's Democracy in America [NOOK Book]

Overview

Tocqueville's Democracy in America continues to be widely read, but for all this familiarity, the vivid imagery with which he conveys his ideas has been overlooked, left to act with unexamined force upon readers' imaginations. In this first sustained feminist reading of Democracy in America Laura Janara assesses the dramatic feminine, masculine, and infantile metaphorical figures that represent the historical political drama that is Tocqueville's primary topic. These tropes are analyzed as both historical ...
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Democracy Growing Up: Authority, Autonomy, and Passion in Tocqueville's Democracy in America

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Overview

Tocqueville's Democracy in America continues to be widely read, but for all this familiarity, the vivid imagery with which he conveys his ideas has been overlooked, left to act with unexamined force upon readers' imaginations. In this first sustained feminist reading of Democracy in America Laura Janara assesses the dramatic feminine, masculine, and infantile metaphorical figures that represent the historical political drama that is Tocqueville's primary topic. These tropes are analyzed as both historical artifacts and symbols for psychoanalytic interpretation, deepening and complicating the standing interpretations of Tocqueville's work. Democracy Growing Up comments critically upon the peculiar gendered and familial foundations of modern Western democracy and upon the notion of democratic maturity that Tocqueville offers us.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Janara ... provides us with a key to Tocqueville's subconscious thoughts based on his language, which is rich in the imagery of familial and gender relationships. She does this in a nuanced, original and convincing way.— Perspectives on Politics

"Democracy Growing Up consistently illuminates the hitherto undiscussed gender structure and entailments of Tocqueville's commentaries and has lots of surprising things to say on other specific aspects of his thought. It is a provocative and substantial contribution to the literature on Tocqueville."— Mark T. Reinhardt, Williams College"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791488362
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Laura Janara is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 "The Key to Almost the Whole Work" 9
French and U.S. Discourse 12
Interpreting Tocqueville's Imagery: A Psychoanalytic Framework 19
What Tocqueville Fears: Democracy's Three Potentialities 27
The Abyss 30
Interpreting Tocqueville's Imagery: Tocqueville in History 33
Dinnerstein's Theory and Tocqueville's Democracy 37
Diagnosing the Democratic Psyche 43
2 Genealogy, Birth, and Growth 47
Democracy in France: Urchin Orphan 48
Democracy in America: Wilderness Expecting 51
Saginaw: A Scarcely Formed Embryo 55
Mother England 59
Resisting the Mother: Democracy as Adolescent 65
3 Adolescence and Maturity 69
Adolescence 71
Manliness or Individualism? 75
Democracy in School 77
Passion for Equality's Charms 80
Religion, Mores, Morality: Female Bulwark for Maturity 85
Democratic Maturity? 91
4 Homo Puer Robustus: Property, Commerce, Industry 99
The Impulse for Enterprise 102
Anxiety and Unsated Desire 104
Exploiting the Land, Fearing the Flesh, Ennobling Money 108
Money, Marriage, and Manly Citizenship 111
Middle Class Desire and the Stilling of Politics 115
Workers, Owners, and the Veil of Contract 117
The State as Parent 125
5 Impotence and Infantilism 129
Hypermasculine Individualism 130
Public Opinion: Elle mene le monde 133
Female Administration: Male Government 137
The Guardian State 148
Infantilism and Impotence 153
6 Democracy's Family Values 157
Democracy as Self-Mastery: Fathers, Sons, and Brothers 163
Girls: Democracy's Shadow Figures 169
Fear and Desire: Containing the American Woman 173
Marriage and Sex: Resurrecting Order 178
Democracy's Gender and Family Foundations 181
Conclusion: Family, Gender, and Democratic Maturity 185
Notes 197
Bibliography 229
Index 239
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