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

Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics (Trade Paperback / Paperback)

By Freud, Sigmund
Translated by Brill, A. A.

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In this controversial study, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) applies the theories and evidence of his psychoanalytic investigations to the study of aboriginal peoples and, by extension, to the earliest cultural stages of the human race before the rise of large-scale civilisations. Freu...d points out the striking parallels between the cultural practices of native tribal groups and the behaviour patterns of neurotics. Beginning with a discussion of the incest taboo, he compares some of the elaborate taboo restrictions seen in these cultures to the scrupulous rituals of compulsion neurotics, who in a similar fashion are wrestling with the ambivalent emotions aroused by the incest taboo. He suggests that many of the rituals of culture are developed as psychological reactions to taboos, which prohibit the acting out of an infantile impulse that would be socially destructive. Freud concludes by invoking his famous Oedipal complex as the key to the development of culture. The repressed psychological urge to kill the father as a rival for the mother's affections is the underlying motive for the symbols and ceremonies of religion with its rituals of atonement and its notions of angry gods, original sin, and human guilt. Although Freud's theories are controversial today, this masterful synthesis and its undeniable influence on later scholars of religion, anthropology, and psychology make it a seminal work.
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ISBN 9781573927895
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Alternate Format(s) View All (15 other possible title(s) available)
Trade Paperback
Series Great Minds Series
Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781573927895
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks
Imprint Prometheus Books
Publication Country United States United States
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
 › 15 other possible formats available
Author(s) By Freud, Sigmund
Translated by Brill, A. A.
Series Great Minds Series
Category Abnormal Psychology
Number of Pages 281
Dimensions Width: 140mm
Height: 216mm
Spine: 17mm
Dewey Code 616.852
Weight 352g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Psychoanalysis, Ethnopsychology, Neuroses, Totemism, Taboo
NBS Text Psychology: Professional & General
ONIX Text General/trade;College/higher education;Professional and scholarly