Mad Men And Medusas: Reclaiming Hysteria

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9780465046133: Mad Men And Medusas: Reclaiming Hysteria

This worthy successor to Psychoanalysis and Feminism is both a defense of the long-dismissed diagnosis of hysteria as a centerpiece of the human condition and a plea for a new understanding of the influence of sibling and peer relationships. Juliet Mitchell argues that, because it our first social relationship, the sibling relationship is crucial to development, and that it is a critical failure of psychoanalysis and other psychological theories of development to obscure and ignore the importance of siblings and peers.In Mad Men and Medusas Mitchell traces the history of hysteria from the Greek "wandering womb" to modern-day psychiatric diagnoses, arguing that we need to reclaim hysteria to understand how distress and trauma express themselves in different societies and different times. Using fascinating examples from anthropology, Freud's case studies, literature, and her own clinical practice, Mitchell convincingly demonstrates that while hysteria may have disappeared as a disease, it is still a critical factor in understanding psychological development through the life cycle.

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About the Author:

Juliet Mitchell, author of Psychoanalysis and Feminism, (see page 140), is a psychoanalyst and the A.D. White Professor-at-large at Cornell University. She is also University Lecturer in Gender and Society at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Jesus College.

Review:

"An exciting, fascinating book that stimulates fresh ideas and pulls together unformulated experiences." -- -Jessica Benjamin

"This fascinating book offers new ways of thinking about the origins and future possibilities of human identity." -- -Rachel Bowlby

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Juliet Mitchell
Published by Basic Books (2000)
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