By Eric Smadja
This publication explores the representations of society and tradition that Freud elaborated during his paintings. His profound curiosity in those components ended in his development of a private socio-anthropology, one that used to be virulently criticized via the social sciences of the day because it challenged many modern sociological and anthropological conceptions.
Freud's view of tradition and society encompassed either his Viennese and wider Western society and civilization and likewise old and so-called "primitive" societies, which he considered from the evolutionist standpoint of the British anthropologists of his time. while Freud writes approximately society, tradition, civilization, the hundreds, or the group, it really is accordingly essential to think about the interrelationship among those numerous views -- either modern Viennese and Western, ancient and primitive. via exploring those matters the ebook additionally increases a few compelling questions: What constitutes a tradition? What are its crucial qualities, its services, its relationships with society and with nature, and with different points of “reality” or of the “external world”. What account of it did Freud search to reconstruct (phylogenesis), and what position does it play within the improvement of every person (ontogenesis) in the course of the development and functioning of his or her psyche?
This publication offers a few interesting solutions and skilfully elaborates the distinctively Freudian inspiration of "Kulturarbeit", an concept that performed a significant function in his paintings yet which, particularly apparently, he by no means outlined. the writer compellingly reconstructs this idea from a strictly Freudian point of view by way of drawing on either his socio-anthropological writings and likewise these of others outdoor the sphere.
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Extra resources for Freud and Culture
The French notion of civilisation This German Kultur stands in contrast to Zivilization, which would for Germans above all represent the outer side of human beings, the surface of human existence. While for the French and the English, it referred to two realities. On the one hand, it referred to the social, ethical, technological, religious, economic, and political deeds that are objects of national pride, SMADJA Book_Cullen correx 12/03/2015 12:32 Page 37 FREUDIAN CULTURE 37 and, on the other hand, to progress made by the West and humanity in general.
Then we are going to find throughout his writings a number of terms and expressions exploring and qualifying diverse aspects of culture, on both the collective and the individual level, but also from the twofold, diachronic and synchronic, perspective. So it is, for example, with the expressions “cultural development” and human “cultural development” in “ ‘Civilized’ sexual morality and modern nervous illness” (Freud, 1908d); “the individual capable of becoming a civilized and useful member of society” in “Analysis of a phobia in a five-year-old boy”, (Freud, 1909b, p.
The development of society; the evolution of society; “The whole progress of society rests upon the opposition between successive generations” (Freud, 1909c, p. 237). Let us look more particularly at certain sectors of society studied by Freud: the social institutions, notions of social instincts and social feelings, but also that of social anxiety. SMADJA Book_Cullen correx 09/03/2015 09:29 Page 25 ABOUT SOCIETY, GROUPS, AND COMMUNITY 25 Social institutions In the course of reading Freud’s work, one spots terminological fluctuations, notably when it is a case of institutions, which are sometimes social, sometimes cultural, even human.
Freud and Culture by Eric Smadja