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Jessica Benjamin

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Title: Jessica Benjamin  
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Subject: Psychoanalysis, Relational psychoanalysis, Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalytic sociology, Gender studies
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Jessica Benjamin

Jessica Benjamin (born January 17, 1946) is an American psychoanalyst and feminist.

She is currently on the faculty at New York University's Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.[1] Her early studies included social structure and feminism, but more recently she is known for her effort to explain the classical aspects of psychoanalysis using object relations, ego psychology, relational psychoanalysis, and feminist thought.[2] She has made significant contributions to the concept of intersubjectivity in psychoanalysis.[3]

Selected bibliography


Benjamin has published three books as of September 2008.

In The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism and the Problem of Domination (1988) Benjamin explores why we accept and perpetuate relationships of domination and submission. She theorizes that domination is a complex psychological process which ensnares both parties in bonds of complicity, and supports this by showing how it affects our family life, our social institutions, and especially our sexual relations, in spite of our conscious commitment to equality and freedom.[4]

Benjamin's second book, Like Subjects, Love Objects: Essays on Recognition and Sexual Difference (1995) examines the psychoanalytic theory of intersubjectivity. She builds on the foundation of Freud's Oedipal theory, critically revising it to include the female's struggle for independence. She argues that traditional Freudian theories inevitably reproduce patriarchal gender relationships which are characterized by domination and submission, most notably reflected in the cultural polarity of male rationality and female vulnerability.[5]

Shadow of the Other: Intersubjectivity and Gender in Psychoanalysis (1997), extends Benjamin's work on intersubjectivity, love and aggression.[3]



  1. ^ Jessica Benjamin, New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University (accessed September 8, 2008).
  2. ^ Spring Workshop 2000: Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D., Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (accessed September 8, 2008).
  3. ^ a b Harriet Kimble Wrye, Shadow of the OtherReview of , Dallas Psychoanalytic Center, reprinted from Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 47 (accessed September 8, 2008).
  4. ^ by Jessica BenjaminThe Bonds of Love, Pantheon Books (accessed September 8, 2008).
  5. ^ by Jessica BenjaminLike Subjects, Love Objects: Essays on Recognition and Sexual Difference, Yale University Press (accessed September 8, 2008).
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