Publication: Breast-feeding and middle-class privilege

Professor Friedlander published a piece in April 2015’s edition of Subjectivity titled “Breast-feeding and middle-class privilege: A psychoanalytic analysis of ‘breast is best’”.

Abstract: “Rosin’s contribution to the April 2009 issue of The Atlantic entitled ‘The Case Against Breast-feeding’, created national outrage by questioning the medical literature on infant feeding upon which the mantra ‘breast is best’ is based. This article uses Rosin’s ambivalence regarding breast-feeding as a way to understand why breast-feeding is a culturally and psychically fraught practice. It explores the rhetoric of breast-feeding advocacy in two contexts: (i) the US government’s 2004 National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign and (ii) La Leche League International. I argue that the government campaign deploys a politics characteristic of Jacques Lacan’s concept of the Symbolic Order. The approach used by La Leche, by contrast, constitutes a politics based on the logic of what Lacan calls the Imaginary realm. I will argue that breast-feeding promotion requires a politics derived from the logic of what Lacan calls the Real – an approach to which Rosin’s piece unexpectedly points us.”

Citation: Friedlander, Jennifer. Breast Feeding and Middle-Class Privilege: A Psychoanalytic analysis of ‘breast is best’. Subjectivity vol. 8, issue 1 (2015)