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By L. Grossberg

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1930/1953–74: SE 22:120) One of the ways in which the social, historical context inflects the psychic formation of the subject within the family romance consists precisely in bourgeois norms of cleanliness. These norms institute disciplinary procedures that profoundly influence subject formation. Yet cleaning practices also literally impress on the infantile body the marks of a social order characterized by multiple types of diversity. Variations in social position, gender, status, material wealth, occupation and domestic environment significantly inflect and alter such subject formation within the only apparently homogeneous (bourgeois) family.

Davis, Angela Y. (1983) Women, Race & Class, New York: Vintage Books. Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Felix (1983) Anti-Oedipus; Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Lane, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ) Deutsch, Felix (1985) ‘A footnote to Freud’s “Fragment of an analysis of a case of hysteria”’, in Charles Bernheimer and Claire Kahane (eds) In Dora’s Case: FreudHysteria-Feminism, New York: Columbia University Press. ) Douglas, Mary (1988) Purity and Danger, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

It amounts to a devastating ideology, part of a cunning and ruthlessly efficient programme to persuade women to forgo self-fulfilment through careers in favour of homemaking and child-rearing. Friedan describes, for example, how ‘Freudian theories were used to brainwash two generations of educated American women’ (1992:109). Even more disturbing, the ‘feminine mystique has brainwashed American educators’ (1992:155), those very college professors who themselves brainwashed their women students into expecting no more than a home and a husband out of life.

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