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R. W. Connell

In: Theorizing Masculinities

Chapter 2: Psychoanalysis on Masculinity

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Psychoanalysis on Masculinity
Psychoanalysis on masculinity
R. W.Connell

Psychoanalysis has a paradoxical position in discussions of masculinity. The Freudian movement made the first serious attempt at scientific research on masculinity and explanation of its major patterns. Yet its findings have been largely neglected in the current revival of social-scientific interest in masculinity. As all who have read Freud's texts know, psychoanalysis was the product of an incisive intelligence and a profound commitment to science. Yet psychoanalysis gave birth to the confused irrationalism that now shoulders aside all claims of science in popular discussions of the “deep masculine.”

Psychoanalysis on the one hand has enriched almost every current of radical thought in the 20th century, from Marxism, surrealism, and existentialism to anticolonialism, feminism, and gay liberation. On the other hand, ...

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