Benjamin, Jessica

Jessica Benjamin (b. 1946) is a practicing psychoanalyst who is internationally known for bridging classical psychoanalytic theory with feminist thought. She is acclaimed for her efforts to integrate seemingly opposing positions within psychoanalysis, such as the divide between Freudian “drive psychology,” or what is called the one-person model, versus recent “relational theories,” or two-person models. While she aligns herself with object relations theorists (that is, a two-person model that stresses the effects of human relationships on psychic development), she also argues for preserving a focus on how internal psychic conflicts and unconscious fantasies shape psychological life and social interaction. Benjamin embraces both categories of experience—the intersubjective and the intrapsychic—and intertwines them in a multilayered rubric for understanding gender polarities, sexual differences and desire, and male ...

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