Disappearances, Silences, And Anxious Rhetoric: Gender In Abnormal Psychology Textbooks

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Journal Of Theoretical And Philosophical Psychology


Argues that from a feminist perspective the history of clinical psychology reveals a troubled relationship with women. Diagnoses and treatments have at times controlled and victimized women. Over the past 25 yrs, feminist scholarship, activism, and practice have contributed to knowledge. Yet, these accomplishments may go unnoticed in the field of abnormal psychology. Besides sexism, there may be other sources of resistance. Textbooks present disorders as abstracted, medicalized entities. Within this frame of reference, everyday identities, social categories (such as gender), and cultural politics are rendered irrelevant. Textbooks present an idealized image of psychology as a scientific, objective discipline that is humane and beneficent. That image could not be sustained if an accurate account of its history and social relations were given as well. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Reprinted in: (1997). Toward A New Psychology Of Gender. 543-552.

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