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Françoise Dolto and her legacy
Author: Richard Bates

In Psychoanalysis and the family, Richard Bates reveals the striking range and extent of the influence of Françoise Dolto (1908–88) – child psychoanalyst and France’s leading authority on parenting and family dynamics from the 1970s onwards.

Against the backdrop of rapid economic, social and cultural change, Dolto emerged as a new, reassuring, national presence. Seen as a national treasure, her views proved influential on a wide range of issues linked to psychology, parenting, education, gender, sexuality, bioethics and children’s culture and rights. Dolto claimed the mantle of a progressive, innovative expert who swept away outdated concepts – but Bates demonstrates that her ideas in fact had deep roots in right-wing, anti-feminist currents. Dolto used her media platforms and the cultural authority of psychoanalysis to ensure that her psychoanalytic vision affected the whole French nation and was implanted in a variety of institutional settings. Bates shows how her vision had lasting repercussions, in areas ranging from the treatment of autism to the organisation of children’s centres.

In demonstrating Dolto’s importance, this highly original, thoroughly researched book makes an essential contribution to historical understanding of twentieth-century French society. It forces a reassessment of the place of psychoanalysis in French social history, showing that its true significance lay well beyond the academic seminar or the consulting room.

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Psychoanalysis in interwar France
Richard Bates

, ‘Psychoanalysis in France: Preliminary Note on the Historical Survey of the French Psychoanalytic Movement’, Psychoanalytic Review , 17 (1930), 426–8. 38 See Annick Ohayon, ‘Édouard Pichon, psychanalyste français’, in Michel Arrivé, Valelia Muni Toke and Claudine Normand (eds), De la grammaire à l’inconscient: Dans les traces de Damourette et Pichon : actes du colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle du 1er au 11 août 2009 (Limoges: Lambert-Lucas, 2009), pp. 141–8. 39 See

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
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Doltomania
Richard Bates

through family life, among the social upheavals of the second half of the twentieth century, have had lasting ramifications. Chapter structure The first half of the book examines the origins of Dolto’s ideas and her early articulations of them. Chapter 1 explores the history of psychoanalysis in France before 1939, situating it with respect to the politics of science and medicine in the later Third Republic, and the politics of the family in relation to interwar natalism. It shows that while the early French

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
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Dolto in the twenty-first century
Richard Bates

published the first of two sharply critical books, castigating Dolto’s theories as ‘outdated and very often inappropriate, even toxic’. 9 Pleux’s attacks formed part of a broader cultural battle in the 2000s over the scientific validity, and political implications, of psychoanalysis in France. This anti-Freudian wave notably produced the 2005 Livre noir de la psychanalyse ( Black Book of Psychoanalysis ), a collection of texts mainly by cognitive-behavioural therapists, taking aim at the epistemological foundations of

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
Subjective realism, social disintegration and bodily affection in Lucrecia Martel’s La ciénaga (2001)
Julián Daniel Gutiérrez- Albilla

in France, 1925– 1985 , trans. J. Mehlman ( London : Free Association , 1990 ). Sconce , J. ‘Irony, nihilism, and the new American “smart” film’ , Screen , 43 ( 4 ) ( 2002 ), 349–69 . Smith , P. J. ‘La ciénaga’ , Sight & Sound , 11 ( 2001 ), 45 . Taylor , D. Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
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Scott Wilson

psychoanalysis in France, records that the seminar in which Lacan spoke about the jouissance of the Other, ‘the jouissance of the (under erasure) woman’ as an experience of unknowing, was turned into ‘an act of homage to the Bataille of Madame Edward, to the absolute figure of the hatred and love of God’ (Roudinesco, 1990: 524). Madame Bass spirituality 165 Edwarda is a short story of the narrator’s visit to a Parisian brothel and his revelatory encounter with a prostitute: She was seated, she held one long leg stuck up in the air, to open her crack yet wider she used her

in Great Satan’s rage
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Psychoanalysis in the public sphere, 1968–88
Richard Bates

psychoanalysts on hand to ‘drink in the anxiety of mothers’. This aspect is unique to France, and Dolto and her ideas are at its heart. Dolto as ‘star’ With the twenty-first century waning of the cultural influence of psychoanalysis in France, the ‘structures Dolto’ may stand as the apogee of its transformation into a form of common sense, and its implantation into the everyday lives of many thousands of families. Dolto was able to achieve such large-scale social impacts by aligning psychoanalytic objectives with broader

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France