Blessings on the hand of women...: For the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world

Greenwood, Sallie (2007) Blessings on the hand of women...: For the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. In: Second International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 10-13 July, 2007, Granada, Spain. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or Summary

Maternal doubles, such as occur is adoption, fostering, surrogacy, and lesbian families, are a common phenomenon in New Zealand and other western countries. Yet, at a material level we find it difficult to engage with a maternal that is multiply invested. The anxiety is invoked by maternal doubles who fail to impose boundaries clearly differentiating them. Theorising why this may be I argue that while the constituted self has abjected the mother in the process of individuating she remains a powerful trace. When there are two ambiguously differentiated mothers meaning collapses and the fragility of the symbolic becomes evident. It is threatened both by the uncanny effects of doubling and because the identity being blurred is the archaic precursor of identity. As Creed (1993, 29) said “[f]ear of losing oneself and one’s boundaries is made more acute in a society which values boundaries over continuity, and separateness over sameness.” In this paper I analyse films featuring maternal doubles. I use psychoanalysis both to understand the historically constituted subject and as a discourse being utilized in film texts. I explore where anxiety is produced, how it is manifested and ultimately how it is resolved by the film and for the viewer.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords that describe the item:Psychoanalysis, Maternal Subjects, Film Analysis, Abjection
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
ID Code:241
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Deposited On:30 Jun 2009 04:06
Last Modified:30 Jun 2009 04:06

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