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Feminism, Writing, and Ghosts

Avery Gordon
Social Problems
Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov., 1990), pp. 485-500
DOI: 10.2307/800577
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/800577
Page Count: 16
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Feminism, Writing, and Ghosts
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Abstract

It all began with an abstract, a promise and good reasons for being cautious of the abstract. But now the story is told and that makes all the difference. This essay is a meditation on methodology in the postmodern social field. The story is told through a detour generated by a woman, Sabina Spielrein, who was not in a photograph she was supposed to be in. Spielrein was a patient of Carl Jung's and later became an analyst herself, writing a very important essay on the death drive. The story of her entanglements with Jung and Freud, now more visible with the publication of her diaries and letters, haunts the institution of psychoanalysis, just as her haunting provides an alibi for my argument that certain features of psychoanalysis enable sociologically-oriented feminists to broach questions of invisibility, ghostly haunts, and the transferential investments and complications arising in any analysis.

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