Hi. This was sort of fun in the sense that finding the definition left me slightly more unsure of how to understand how the term "cathectic" was being employed than I was to begin with.
So, this was in reference to Mohanty/Alexander (xxiii) "Both postcolonial and advanced capitalist/colonial states organize and reinforce a cathectic structure based in sexual difference (i.e., heterosexuality) which they enforce through a variety of means, including legislation"
I know we're not "supposed" to do this, but I went to wikipedia...sigh....(but seriously, the oxford definition wasn't of much help: "of, pertaining to cathexis")
So: according to the on-line encyclopedia:
"In psychodynamics, cathexis is defined as the process of investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea. This concept was developed by Sigmund Freud in 1922. In psychoanalysis, cathexis is the libido's charge of energy. Freud often described the functioning of psychosexual energies in mechanical terms, influenced perhaps by the dominance of the steam engine at the end of the 19th century. In this manner, he also tended to think of the libido as a producer of energies.
Freud often represented frustration in libidinal desires as a blockage of energies that would eventually build up and require release in other ways. This release could occur, for example, by way of regression and the "re-cathecting" of former positions (i.e. fixation at the oral phase or anal phase and the enjoyment of former sexual objects ["object-cathexes"], including autoeroticism).
When the ego blocks such efforts to discharge one's cathexis by way of regression, i.e. when the ego wishes to repress such desires, Freud uses the term "anti-cathexis" or counter-charge. Like a steam engine, the libido's cathexis then builds up until it finds alternative outlets, which can lead to sublimation or to the formation of sometimes disabling symptoms." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathexis)
I'm still sort of baffled by what this implies...and would profoundly appreciate hearing your points of view.