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    Oi mother, keep ye' hair on! impossible transformations of maternal subjectivity

    Baraitser, Lisa (2006) Oi mother, keep ye' hair on! impossible transformations of maternal subjectivity. Studies in Gender and Sexuality 7 (3), pp. 217-238. ISSN 1524-0657.

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    Motherhood is commonly referred to as a transformational experience. Where the psychoanalytic literature articulates the maternal subject and her development, transformation is figured as a working through of infantile issues prompted by the psychic crisis that motherhood represents. Juxtaposing recent autobiographical accounts of the transition to motherhood with the work of Irigaray, and using my own experiences of early motherhood, I look at the way motherhood as a transformational experience is represented as either the movement from unity towards fluidity, or its reverse, the movement from fluidity to the hardening of desire around the unity of the child. I use a discussion of wigs to show how transformation itself is caught by its own material effects, inevitably failing to pass itself off as the magical movement from one state to another. The transition to motherhood is understood as both the painful and playful realisation of the impossibility of transformation itself.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2017 10:16
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:33


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