Chapter

Freud's Theory of Sexual Perversion

Jonathan Dollimore

in Sexual Dissidence

Published in print August 1991 | ISBN: 9780198112259
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112259.003.0011
Freud's Theory of Sexual Perversion

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This chapter is a sketch of Sigmund Freud's theory, as expounded in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, and further elaborated in later works. First, it explores the way Freud addresses the paradoxical dynamic of perversion; a theory more challenging than most contemporary versions of psychoanalysis allow — even those which have sought to use Freud in the name of a progressive sexual politics. In fact, since Freud, we are faced not only with the crassness of Sandor Feldman's version of perversion but also, within more sophisticated versions of psychoanalysis, with a disregard of Freud's much more challenging account of perversions. It is part of the longer argument that the perverse dynamic begins to undermine key aspects of the psychoanalytic project itself, just as it did within theology earlier.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud; perversion; Sandor Feldman; psychoanalysis; perverse dynamic; sexual politics

Chapter.  9795 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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