Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics

Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics

by Sigmund Freud
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In this brilliant exploratory attempt (written in 1912–1913) to extend the analysis of the individual psyche to society and culture, Freud laid the lines for much of his later thought, and made a major contribution to the psychology of religion. Primitive societies and the individual, he found, mutually illuminate each other, and the psychology of primitive… See more details below

Overview

In this brilliant exploratory attempt (written in 1912–1913) to extend the analysis of the individual psyche to society and culture, Freud laid the lines for much of his later thought, and made a major contribution to the psychology of religion. Primitive societies and the individual, he found, mutually illuminate each other, and the psychology of primitive races bears marked resemblances to the psychology of neurotics. Basing his investigations on the findings of the anthropologists, Freud came to the conclusion that totemism and its accompanying restriction of exogamy derive from the savage’s dread of incest, and that taboo customs parallel closely the symptoms of compulsion neurosis. The killing of the “primal father” and the consequent sense of guilt are seen as determining events both in the mistry tribal pre-history of mankind, and in the suppressed wishes of individual men. Both toteism and taboo are thus held to have their roots in the Oedipus complex, which lies at the basis of all neurosis, and, as Freud argues, is also the origin of religion, ethics, society, and art.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Reprints a translation by A.A. Brill, which was originally published in 1918 (Dodd, Mead & Company). Freud's classic work applies psychoanalysis to aboriginals, paralleling aboriginal practice and neurotic patterns of behavior. For example, Freud compares aboriginal incest taboos with scrupulous rituals of compulsion neurotics who, Freud finds, also wrestle with incest taboos. Culture is itself theorized as a reaction-formation to taboos prohibiting potentially destructive social behavior. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307813480
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/04/2012
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >