Lisa Baraitser's Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption (Women and PDF

By Lisa Baraitser

Winner of the 2009 Feminist & Women's experiences organization (UK & eire) booklet Award! many ladies locate mothering a surprising event by way of the extremity of emotions it provokes, and the profound alterations it sort of feels to recommended in id, courting and feel of self. although, even supposing motherhood can catapult us right into a nation of inner disarray, it might additionally offer us with a distinct likelihood to make ourselves anew. How then can we comprehend this radical strength for transformation inside of maternal adventure? In Maternal Encounters, Lisa Baraitser takes up this query in the course of the research of a chain of maternal anecdotes, charting key destabilizing moments within the lifetime of only one mom, and utilizing those to debate many questions that experience remained proof against theoretical research – the chance for a selected feminine-maternal subjectivity, relationality and reciprocity, ethics and otherness. operating throughout modern philosophies of feminist ethics, in addition to psychoanalysis and social conception, the maternal topic, in Baraitser’s account, turns into an emblematic and enigmatic formation of a subjectivity ‘called into being’ via a relation to a different she involves identify and declare as her baby. As she navigates throughout the peculiarity of maternal adventure, Baraitser takes us on a trip within which ‘the mom’ emerges within the very unlikely, precarious and risky of locations as an issue of alterity, transformation, interruption, heightened sentience, viscosity, encumberment and love. This booklet offers a massive new concept of maternal subjectivity, and an leading edge and available means into our knowing of up to date motherhood. As such, it will likely be of curiosity to scholars of kin experiences, gender experiences, psychoanalysis, serious psychology and feminist philosophy in addition to counselling and psychotherapy.

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Extra info for Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption (Women and Psychology)

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It is transformed through its encounter with alterity, not in order to return to itself, but to become a self it never was. (Butler 2000:286) To become a self, in Butler’s account, is to be outside oneself, or ‘other’ than oneself, and to have always already lost oneself through a relation to the Other that returns one to oneself as different—as other. What Butler identifies is that this is only really possible in Hegel when the two self-consciousnesses recognize each other at a point of extreme vulnerability—precisely a life-and-death struggle.

Kristeva 2001:xiv) My suggestion is that we use a different strand of ethics to propel us away from this debate about femininity, masochism, and the Angel in the House, away from the dualisms of feminine-care, masculine-justice and motherhood as an all-consuming vocation. What I would like to do is try to move the account of the ethical nature of the mother-child relationship away from its reliance on notions such as flexibility, relatedness, receptivity and responsiveness but without jettisoning the project of mapping out a specifically maternal ethics.

The maternal subject is understood, then, as a gendered subject who is structured by a relationship to a child (Hollway 2001). Mothering becomes parenting in the feminine not only due to the particular experiences of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, but also because of the uses the child makes of sexual difference. Susan Kraemer also uses the term maternal subjectivity to include the ‘grimmer experiences of “ordinary” maternal hate, aggression, and failure’ (Kraemer 1996:767). Her emphasis, however, is on how the mother comes to own and tolerate the broadest range of subjective responses to her baby or young child that include hate, anger and aggression.

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