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Masculinity as project: some psychoanalytic reflections
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2014 (English)In: Norma, ISSN 1890-2138, E-ISSN 1890-2146, Vol. 9, no 4, 249-268 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article the question of phallic masculinity is discussed from a subjective perspective, more specifically from a psychoanalytic perspective supplemented with phenomenological reflections. A vantage point for this discussion is the distinction between sex/being a male and gender/masculinity. The focus is on the boy's/man's striving for a phallic masculine identity – a striving that can be described in terms of a ‘project’. The term ‘project’ indicates that phallic masculinity is a striving for a possibility which is not yet realized, and it is argued, will never be realized, since it essentially entails a denial of our existential conditions such as our vulnerability, transience and dependence. From a psychogenetic point of view phallic masculinity is conceived of as a repudiation of the feminine/motherly containment. The phallic masculine project can be seen as a response to a humiliated narcissistic ego. In the final section, I will discuss the alienating consequences of masculinity as project by means of the concepts ‘immanence’ and ‘transcendence’. Among other things it is argued that the masculine project misses: (1) recognition of the potentiality of an emergent sense of subjectivity made possible by an intersubjective containing experience; (2) recognition of the potentiality of immanence as a source of unconditional joy; (3) recognition of a mutually rewarding, dialectical relationship between immanence and transcendence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 4, 249-268 p.
Keyword [en]
phallic masculinity, masculinity, gender, psychoanalysis, phenomenology transcendence, immanence, phallocentrism
National Category
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123847DOI: 10.1080/18902138.2014.908631OAI: diva2:877996

Finns också publicerad på polska i Teksty Drugie, vol. 2, 2015

Available from: 2015-12-08 Created: 2015-12-08 Last updated: 2015-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson, Gunnar
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