In his new book Masculinity and its Discontents: The Male Psyche and the Inherent Tensions of Maturing Manhood (Routledge, 2021), Michael J. Diamond develops an original psychoanalytic theory of male development through the prephallic, phallic and genital positions. He critically acknowledges and complicates oedipal and disidentification theories as the predominant paradigms in psychoanalytic theorizing about masculinity and helps us to shift our focus to primordial male vulnerability and its vicissitudes. This book is part of the emergent third wave of psychoanalytic theorizing about male development and takes conflict, fluidity and complex gendered identifications as hallmarks of the livelong struggle for a secure enough sense of masculinity. The book's specific strength lies in its rich clinical illustrations that show the analyst working with his own and his patients´ ever-evolving feelings about manhood. In the interview, Diamond presents his ideas, and we take a deep dive in the psychodynamics of the male psyche, looking at questions of contemporary masculinity, fatherhood and clinical technique.
Sebastian Thrul is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in training in Germany and Switzerland. He can be reached at email@example.com.