Jessica Benjamin  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jessica Benjamin is an American psychoanalyst and feminist.

As of 1997, Jessica Benjamin was a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City, and was part of New York University's Postdoctoral Psychology Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Her early studies included social structure and feminism, but more recently she is known for her effort to explain the classical aspects of psychoanalysis using object relations, ego psychology, relational psychoanalysis, and feminist thought. She has made significant contributions to the concept of intersubjectivity in psychoanalysis.


Selected Bibliography


Benjamin has published three books as of July, 2007.

In The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism and the Problem of Domination (1988) Benjamin explores why we accept and perpetuate relationships of domination and submission. She theorizes that domination is a complex psychological process which ensnares both parties in bonds of complicity, and supports this by showing how it affects our family life, our social institutions, and especially our sexual relations, in spite of our conscious commitment to equality and freedom.

Benjamin's second book, Like Subjects and Love Objects: Essays on Recognition, Identification and Difference (1995) examines the psychoanalytic theory of intersubjectivity. She builds on the foundation of Freud's Oedipal theory, critically revising it to include the female's struggle for independence. She argues that traditional Freudian theories inevitably reproduce patriarchal gender relationships which are characterized by domination and submission, most notably reflected in the cultural polarity of male rationality and female vulnerability.

Shadow of the Other: Intersubjectivity and Gender in Psychoanalysis (1997), extends Benjamin's work on intersubjectivity, love and aggression.


  • “The End of Internalization:Adorno's Social Psychology”. TELOS 32 (Summer 1977). New York.

See also

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