Woman's Relationship with Herself explores the relationship women have with themselves and demonstrates how this relationship is often dominated by debilitating practices of self-surveillance. Employing Foucault's notion of panoptical power, Helen O'Grady illuminates the link between this kind of self-surveillance and the broader mechanisms of social control, arguing that these negative practices prevent women from enjoying a satisfying, affirming relationship with themselves. Cultural factors that render women vulnerable to dissatisfying self-relations are identified and analysed and, drawing on the insights of Foucault, feminism and narrative therapy, the possibilities for developing a more empowering relationship with the self are examined.
This innovative contribution to feminist debates about gender and the self will be of interest to students and researchers in social psychology, feminist psychology, mental health studies and gender studies, and to practitioners in psychological therapies and counselling psychology.
Introduction. A Lens for Viewing Self-policing. Gender and Self-policing. Challenging and Negative Identity Practices. Foucault and Therapy - A Contradiction? Immanent Critiques: Expanded Possibilities for Refusing Self-policing. An Ethic of Care for the Self. Can Therapy be Politically Progressive from a Feminist Perspective? Conclusion.
This series brings together current theory and research on women and psychology. Drawing on scholarship from a number of different areas of psychology, it bridges the gap between abstract research and the reality of women's lives by integrating theory and practice, research and policy.
Each book addresses a 'cutting edge' issue of research, covering topics such as postnatal depression and eating disorders, and addressing a wide range of theories and methodologies.
The series provides accessible and concise accounts of key issues in the study of women and psychology, and clearly demonstrates the centrality of psychology debates within women's studies or feminism.