Who's That Girl? Who's That Boy?: Clinical Practice Meets Postmodern Gender Theory, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Who's That Girl? Who's That Boy?

Clinical Practice Meets Postmodern Gender Theory, 1st Edition

By Lynne Layton


296 pages

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Hailed on publication as "an impressive integration of postmodernism and relational psychoanalysis" (James Hansel) and "an intelligent and stimulating account of where the issues of identity, gender, and difference are joined" (Jessica Benjamin), Lynne Layton's Who's That Girl? Who's That Boy? is a major contribution to the postmodern understanding of gender issues.

This new edition, under the aegis of the Bending Psychoanalysis Book Series, includes a Foreword by Series Editor Jack Drescher and an Afterword in which Lynne Layton addresses the evolution of her thinking since the book's publication in 1998.


"[Layton] explores that layer of existence that filters the social through the psychological, bringing clinical work and feminist theory together. Her book is a significant interlocutor too, and serves as introduction for a number of important feminist dialogues and debates, such as the relation between the personal and the political and between social constructionist versus identity-derived perspectives. Layton's text brings these many, sometimes contesting, perspectives together in an incisive and grounded exposition."

- Kareen Ror Malone, Signs

"I don't think it is an exaggeration to call this a work of intellectual virtuosity. Where some, myself included, grow impatient with postmodern theories, while nonetheless being influenced by the same social currents out of which these theories have sprung, others bury themselves in theory, seemingly losing touch with lived experience. Layton brings patience and passion to unraveling the knotty intellectual currents of meaning that both unify and separate these two areas of thought. Rather than come down on one side or the other of what she considers a false polarity, she shows how one can inform the other."

- Sheila Bienenfeld, Women's Review of Books

Table of Contents

Drescher, Foreword. Introduction. Beyond Narcissism: Toward a Negotiation Model of Gender Identity. Gender Benders/Gender Binders: A Psychoanalytic Look at Contemporary Popular Culture. Who's That Girl? Madonna. Trauma, Gender Identity, and Sexuality: Discourses of Fragmentation. Blue Velvet: A Parable of Male Development. What Is a Man? Postmodern Challenges to Clinical Practice. A Deconstruction of Kohut's Concept of Self. Performance Theory, Act 3: The Doer Behind the Deed Gets Depressed.

About the Author

Lynne Layton is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is also on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis and is in clinical practice in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adolescent
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Interpersonal Relations
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health