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de Marneffe, Daphne

  • By: D. Lynn O'Brien Hallstein
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Daphne de Marneffe, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, feminist, and lecturer, theorizes a psychologically healthy and empowering-to-women form of maternal desire in her 2004 book, Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life. In the book, de Marneffe explores mothers' relatedness to their children and defines maternal desire as a mother's desire to care for and relate to her children. As a feminist, de Marneffe is also interested in theorizing maternal desire in ways that are consistent with feminism and free from sentimentality and clichés. Most importantly, however, de Marneffe challenges the idea that women who desire to care for children are powerless and without agency, without the ability to influence their own lives. de Marneffe revises the classic psychoanalytic view of the mother-infant relationship ...

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