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The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and the Problem of Domination Hardcover – Aug 1988

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books (Aug. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394551338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394551333
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 17 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,585,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
PSYCHOANALYSIS HAS SHIFTED its focus since Freud, aiming its sights toward ever earlier phases of development in childhood and infancy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The arguments are dense and rely on prior reading of Winnicott, a understanding of Freud and drive theory, some notion of object relations and Klein, a reading of Mahler and individuation and Bowlby/Fairbairn and Harlow.

However do not let that put you off. If you persevere with this you will come through with some sense of enlightenment. This is not a pop psychology book as Jessica looks at the psychological need to be dominated drawing from the early childhood experiences extrapolated into adulthood. In looking at this she draws on the story of "O."

Whilst simplistic feminism posited that once the sisters attained power the world would somehow be better more caring sharing and wholesome. Jessica in the midst of this herd like belief shows that those who are downtrodden do not equate into enlightened subjects. She has mined down deep to show how this could be achieved by showing the architectur of oppression amongst those who have been most trampled upon. In this case she looks at women. However this basis could be used to look at other groups who have been excluded from power. It can also be used to look at those who wield power.

This is a format Alice Miller has drawn upon to analyse the impact of familial violence and the world around families drawing on Kafka, Stalin, Hitler, Picasso, Mishima and a host of other people who have constructed the world we live within.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 July 1998
Format: Paperback
Initially I was shown this book by a friend because it contains an analysis of the "Story of O".
I especially liked the attempt by Benjamin to work out a cogent explanation of the source and nature of feminine Sexual Desire. She doesn't arrive at adefinitive model but does present a convincing case that it lies in the sense of being able to feel safe and free within a "transistional space" wherein one feels ones drives as being from ones own self and not the result of identifcation with the other.
Overall a very dense book, that for me rewarded skipping around alot.
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By Syma Sanford on 19 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M.E. on 30 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent text, very well written and challenges many of our ideas in psychoanalysis. I think this book won't be outdated for a while yet! The author is a very clear thinker.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Very good but very dense. 10 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Initially I was shown this book by a friend because it contains an analysis of the "Story of O".
I especially liked the attempt by Benjamin to work out a cogent explanation of the source and nature of feminine Sexual Desire. She doesn't arrive at adefinitive model but does present a convincing case that it lies in the sense of being able to feel safe and free within a "transistional space" wherein one feels ones drives as being from ones own self and not the result of identifcation with the other.
Overall a very dense book, that for me rewarded skipping around alot.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Salvaging Freud 20 Jan. 2003
By tamiii - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In remarkably clear language, Benjamin reworks Freudian psychoanalysis so to include the possibility of mothers and fathers mutually recognizing each other as subjects thereby enabling a cooperative relationship where similarities and differences are acknowledged. Without this modification, she argues that traditional Freudian theories with their sole reliance on individual intrapsychic reality cannot help but reproduce patriarchal gender relationships which are characterized by domination and submission, most notably reflected in the cultural polarity of male rationality and female vulnerability as seen, for example, in the Story of O. She further argues that the dispassionate rationality of the marketplace masks not only the dependency of the working class but male domination as well. Convincing in its integration of Freudian theory with both feminism and marxism, it marks a significant step forward in understanding how the personal is indeed political.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great book - ahead of her time. 21 Oct. 2010
By Angela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an incredible book. Jessica Benjamin is able to make complex and nuanced concepts easily accessible to her audience. This is one you will read, underline, and find yourself referencing. Her ideas are still very contemporary and I was surprised to see the publication date! I wish she would write more!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Insightful about power and domination 22 Feb. 2013
By Robert D. Budlong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very academic book about women's rights, women's power and the thought process of power and domination. It was very insightful and helpful for me to understand my relationship with women.
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Ties that Bind 1 Aug. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Are a bit ephemeral, according to Benjamin, for they suppose and originate in the constitutive acts of an other subject, acts which not only may recognize one's subjectivity but also fail to recognize one's subjectivity. Thus the pain when such a failure occurs. Thus the efforts individuals expend to manage their lives to avoid such pain.
Benjamin's book was hardly the first to address these issues. It was, however, the first to address them systematically while relating them to feminist theory. An important book. A must read for those interested in Left political and social theory.
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