Resonances of Slavery in Race/Gender Relations: Shadow at the Heart of American Politics

Hardcover | January 19, 2011

byJ. Flax

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In a provocative and insightful exposition, Jane Flax posits that Americans have never properly mourned slavery and its lingering effects on American subjects and politics.  Using an interdisciplinary approach, the book shows that a reciprocal relationship exists between unconscious processes and race/gender domination and that unless we attend to these unconscious processes, no adequate remedy for the malignant consequences of our current race/gender practices and relations can be devised. Wide-ranging, Flax supports her arguments using a variety of sources, including psychoanalytic theory, feminist theory, political theory, Michel Foucault's writings, Obama's books and speeches, critical race theory, data on race/gender disparities, and analysis of contemporary films. 

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In a provocative and insightful exposition, Jane Flax posits that Americans have never properly mourned slavery and its lingering effects on American subjects and politics.  Using an interdisciplinary approach, the book shows that a reciprocal relationship exists between unconscious processes and race/gender domination and that unless ...

Jane Flax is a Professor of Political Science at Howard University. She is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of Thinking Fragments; Disputed Subjects; and The American Dream in Black and White.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:236 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.02 inPublished:January 19, 2011Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230108660

ISBN - 13:9780230108660

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Table of Contents

Introduction: We Aren’t There Yet * Shadow at the Heart: Race/Gender Domination and Melancholia * Undoing Melancholia * Fabricating Subjectivity: Monster’s Ball, The Deep End, and Crash as Enactments of Race/Gender in the Contemporary United States * Paradise Lost: Domination, Citizenship and the Limits of Political Liberalism * Politics for Fallen Angels:  Subjectivity, Democratic Citizenship, and Undoing Race/Gender Melancholia * Conclusion: Remedies and Constraints    

Editorial Reviews

“For America to make progress and achieve a more just and equitable society in terms of race/gender it must mourn. Flax crafts a beautiful argument showing how this mourning process should take place and manifest itself in public policies designed to achieve equality. The myriad of public policy suggestions made by Flax is arguably the strength of this extensive and thorough analysis. This work comes at a critical time in U.S. history as we grapple with the notion of race ‘neutrality’ and the often longed for, but elusive state of post-racialism. It is sure to expand our understanding of race and gender and race/gender politics.”--Julia S. Jordan-Zachery, Providence College“Race/gender prejudice has taken a multitude of forms in American history, each marked by the ‘original sin’ of slavery. The latest form is denial that this complex history is still active, and pervasively so. The delusional idea that America is a ‘post-racial society’ has needed a thorough exploration and expose, and that is what Jane Flax provides in this book. As a psychoanalyst, she reveals the defensive and disguising functions the ‘post-racial society’ idea serves and the narcissism it reflects. As a political and legal theorist, she shows how it functions to perpetuate the race/gender prejudice it pretends is past.”--Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, author of Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World and The Anatomy of Prejudices