Professor of sociology and clinical professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, Nancy J. Chodorow is also a faculty member of the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and a psychoanalyst in private practice. She is the author of four books, including the classic The Reproduction of Mothering (University of California Press, 1978; second edition, 1999), for which she received the Jessie Bernard Award of Sociologists for Women in Society and which Contemporary Sociology listed in the 1990s among the ten most important books of the past twenty-five years.
During her Radcliffe fellowship, Chodorow will consider several paradoxes in psychoanalytic practice, posing such questions as: How can the analyst listen openly, explore, be curious, and help the patient do all these things for herself, if the analyst also holds, as she must, certain a priori theories of human development and functioning? How can psychoanalysis give someone an intense form of individuality and uniqueness if the clinical process is centered in the patient's relationship with the analyst? Chodorow is also interested in the challenges that the socially or politically aware analyst faces when, for example, patients use feminist or other political beliefs to rationalize or ignore painful psychological conflicts, as well as in when and how cultural differences are relevant in the clinical consulting room.
Chodorow has received fellowships from the Stanford Center for Advanced Study, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2000, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Women and Psychoanalysis Award from the American Psychological Association and the L. Bryce Boyer Prize of the Society for Psychological Anthropology for her book The Power of Feelings: Personal Meaning in Psychoanalysis, Gender, and Culture (Yale University Press, 1999). A 1966 graduate of Radcliffe College, she earned her PhD in sociology from Brandeis University and received her psychoanalytic training at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute.