Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France

Françoise Dolto and her legacy

By Richard Bates

Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
Hardcover +
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526159625
  • Publish Date: Feb 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now

    eBook -
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526159618
  • Publish Date: Feb 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now

    Book Information


    In the last quarter of the twentieth century, if French people had a parenting problem or dilemma there was one person they consulted above all: Françoise Dolto (1908-88). But who was Dolto? How did she achieve a position of such influence? What ideas did she communicate to the French public? This book connects the story of Dolto's rise to two broader histories: the dramatic growth of psychoanalysis in postwar France and the long-running debate over the family and the proper role of women in society. It shows that Dolto's continued reputation in France as a liberal and enlightened educational thinker is at best only partially deserved and that conservative and anti-feminist ideas often underpinned her prominent public interventions. While Dolto retains the status of a national treasure, her career has had far-reaching and sometimes harmful repercussions for French society, particularly in the treatment of autism.


    'Richard Bates's cultural history of the life and work of Françoise Dolto establishes her rightful place at the centre of the psychoanalytic revolution in twentieth-century France, stressing her significant influence on the broader popularity of psychoanalysis and the manner that French parents navigated social transformations after the Second World War. A must-read to understand the intersection of gender, family and disability in French psychoanalysis.'
    Jonathyne Briggs, Professor of History, Indiana University Northwest

    'Bates provides a valuable corrective to Dolto's autobiographical works, which downplay her interwar conservative origins, and which Bates argues historians have adopted too uncritically... In all, though, Psychoanalysis. is an indispensable contribution to this burgeoning historiography.'
    Social History of Medicine


    Introduction: Doltomania
    1 Family neuroses: psychoanalysis in interwar France
    2 Dutiful daughters: Françoise breaks free?
    3 Humanism, holism and guilt: Dolto, psychoanalysis and Catholicism from Occupation to Liberation
    4 Family politics: popularising psychoanalysis, 1945-68
    5 Autism, antipsychiatry and the pathogenic family: Dolto and the psychoanalytic approach to autism in France
    6 Radio star: psychoanalysis in the public sphere, 1968-88


    Richard Bates is a Teaching Associate in History at the University of Nottingham

    To purchase as an ebook, please visit your preferred ebook supplier

    Amazon Waterstones Blackwells Bookshop Kobo

    Newsletter Sign Up

    Manchester University Press

    Your cart is empty.

    Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

    (Based on standard shipping costs)

    Final cost calculated on checkout
    Promotional codes can be added on Checkout