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Juliet Mitchell

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Name  Juliet Mitchell
Main interests  Psychoanalysis

Juliet Mitchell Juliet Mitchell The British Library

Alma mater  St Anne's College, Oxford
Books  Psychoanalysis and Feminism, Mad Men and Medusas, Woman's Estate, Siblings: Sex and Violence, Women - the longest revolution
Similar People  Jacqueline Rose, Ann Oakley, Nancy Chodorow, Melanie Klein, Kate Millett

Education  St Anne's College, Oxford

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Juliet Mitchell, FBA (born 1940) is a British psychoanalyst and socialist feminist.


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Life and career

Juliet Mitchell Juliet Mitchell Institute of Psychoanalysis

Mitchell was born in New Zealand in 1940, and moved to England in 1944. She attended St Anne's College, Oxford, where she received a degree in English, as well as doing postgraduate work. She taught English literature from 1962 to 1970 at Leeds University and Reading University. Throughout the 1960s, Mitchell was active in leftist politics, and was on the editorial committee of the journal, New Left Review.

Juliet Mitchell Verso

She was a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge and Professor of Psychoanalysis and Gender Studies at Cambridge University, before in 2010 being appointed to be the Director of the Expanded Doctoral School in Psychoanalytic Studies at Psychoanalysis Unit of University College London (UCL).

Juliet Mitchell Professor Juliet Mitchell Jesus College in the University of Cambridge

She is a retired registrant of the British Psychoanalytic Council.

Psychoanalysis and Feminism

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Mitchell is best known for her book Psychoanalysis and Feminism: Freud, Reich, Laing and Women (1974), in which she tried to reconcile psychoanalysis and feminism at a time when many considered them incompatible. Peter Gay considered it "the most rewarding and responsible contribution'" to the feminist debate on Freud, both acknowledging and rising beyond Freud's male chauvinism in its analysis. Mitchell saw Freud's asymmetrical view of masculinity and femininity as reflecting the realities of patriarchal culture, and sought to use his critique of femininity to critique patriarchy itself. By insisting on the utility of Freud (particularly in a Lacanian reading) for feminism, she opened the way for further critical work on psychoanalysis and gender.


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A substantial part of the thesis of the book is that Marxism may provide a model within which non-patriarchal structures for rearing children could occur. The lack of the 'family romance' would remove the Oedipus complex from a child's development, thus liberating women from the consequences of penis envy and the feeling of being castrated which Mitchell contends is the root cause of women's acceptance that they are inferior. According to Mitchell, children are socialised into appropriate gender roles. Therefore, women grow to be equally socialised into becoming the caretakers of their households.

Feminine sexuality

In her introduction to Lacan on feminine sexuality, Mitchell stresses that "in the Freud that Lacan uses, neither the unconscious nor sexuality...[are] pre-given facts, they are constructions; that is, they are objects with histories".


  • Mitchell, Juliet (1971). Woman's estate. Harmondsworth: Penguin. ISBN 9780140214253. 
  • Mitchell, Juliet (1974). Psychoanalysis and feminism: Freud, Reich, Laing, and women. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 9780394474724. 
  • Mitchell, Juliet (1984). Women, the longest revolution. New York City: Pantheon Books. ISBN 9780394725741. 
  • Mitchell, Juliet (2000). Mad men and Medusas: reclaiming hysteria. New York City: Basic Books. ISBN 9780465046133. 
  • Mitchell, Juliet (2003). Siblings: sex and violence. Cambridge, UK Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. ISBN 9780745632216. 
  • Edited books

  • Mitchell, Juliet; Oakley, Ann (1976). The rights and wrongs of women. Harmondsworth New York: Penguin. ISBN 9780140216165. 
  • Mitchell, Juliet (editor); Lacan, Jacques (author); Rose, Jacqueline (translator and editor) (1985). Feminine sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the ├ęcole freudienne. New York, London: Pantheon Books W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393302110. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Mitchell, Juliet; Oakley, Ann (1986). What is feminism?. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 9780631148432. 
  • Mitchell, Juliet (editor); Klein, Melanie (author) (1987). The selected Melanie Klein. New York: Free Press. ISBN 9780029214817. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Mitchell, Juliet; Oakley, Ann (1997). Who's afraid of feminism?: seeing through the backlash. New York: New Press Distributed by W.W. Norton. ISBN 9781565843851. 
  • References

    Juliet Mitchell Wikipedia