Siblings: Sex and Violence / Edition 1

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Siblings and all the lateral relationships that follow from them are clearly important and their interaction is widely observed, particularly in creative literature. Yet in the social, psychological and political sciences, there is no theoretical paradigm through which we might understand them. In the Western world our thought is completely dominated by a vertical model, by patterns of descent or ascent: mother or father to child, or child to parent. Yet our ideals are 'liberty, equality and fraternity' or the 'sisterhood' of feminism; our ethnic wars are the violence of 'fratricide'.

When we grow up, siblings feature prominently in sex, violence and the construction of gender differences but they are absent from our theories. This book examines the reasons for this omission and begins the search for a new paradigm based on siblings and lateral relationships.

This book will be essential reading for those studying sociology, psychoanalysis and gender studies. It will also appeal to a wide general readership.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Juliet Mitchell, brimming as usual with ideas, insights andreflections, has turned her attention to sibling relationships asthe neglected and much underestimated influence on anindividual’s identity formation. Love, hate, sexualexperience, the shaping of gender roles, suffering and survivalstrategies are pursued as the sibling exchange. A work to provokethought and discussion packed with real life and literaryevidence."
Olwen Hufton University of Oxford

"In 1974, Mitchell’s Psychoanalysis and Feminismoffered a major challenge to a resistant Anglo-Saxon feminism withher compelling case that psychoanalysis, most often seen byfeminists to be part of the problem, was rather a powerful resourcefor feminist explanation and understanding of male domination,female oppression. Almost thirty years on, with Siblings,she has made a second, perhaps even more radical intervention. Heranalysis of the lateral relations of siblings and peers promises totransform many of the recurrent issues and debates of contemporaryfeminism. ... This new book offers richly stimulating resourcesthat should fuel feminist scholarship and debate for manyyears."
Terry Lovell, Warwick University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745632209
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Juliet Mitchell is Professor of Psychoanalysis and GenderStudies at the University of Cambridge and a full member of theInternational Society of Psychoanalysis.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1 Siblings and Psychoanalysis: an Overview 1
2 Did Oedipus have a Sister? 32
3 Sister-Brother/Brother-Sister Incest 58
4 Looking Sideways: 'A Child is being Beaten' 83
5 The Difference between Gender and Sexual Difference 111
6 Who's been Sitting in My Chair? 130
7 Attachment and Maternal Deprivation: How did John Bowlby Miss the Siblings? 153
8 In our Own Times: Sexuality, Psychoanalysis and Social Change 172
9 Conclusion: Siblings and the Engendering of Gender 193
Notes 226
References and Select Bibliography 235
Index 244
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