Psychoanalysis In Freud's Totem And Taboo

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As a theory, psychoanalysis is based on the concept that individuals are unaware of the many factors that cause their behaviour and emotions. These unconscious factors have the potential to produce unhappiness, which in turn is expressed through a score of distinguishable symptoms, including disturbing personality traits, difficulty in relating to others, or disturbances in self-esteem or general disposition Psychoanalysis is a method of understanding mental functioning and the stages of growth and development. Psychoanalysis is a general theory of individual human behavior and experience, and it has both contributed to and been enriched by many other disciplines. Psychoanalysis seeks to explain the complex relationship between the body and…show more content…
Freud begins Totem and Taboo by postulating an equation between the psychological development of the earliest human societies, living in the simplest forms of social organization or the primitives, contemporary human societies who lack any sense of modern culture and live under similarly simple forms of social organization which can be called savages and neurosis. Freud focusses on the paradox that although it is expected that the savages or primitive people might have no sexual ethics set, surprisingly these people have strict avoidance of incestuous relation disobeying which leads to punishment. Primitive and savage societies have equivalent forms of social and religious organization, namely totemism. Furthermore, strict practices were undertaken to prevent even seeing an individual with whom one might have incest, called avoidances. Freud extrapolates that repressed incestuous desires between family members are most likely the explanation for all avoidances, according with knowledge garnered from his studies on infantile sexuality. The original choices of love objects for infants are their family members, particularly the boy for his mother and then his sister if he has one, but these are always repressed. In most cases the boy successfully substitutes other women outside the family for these original choices, but neurotic patients suffer from inhibition and regression, or that “he has either failed to get free from the psycho-sexual conditions that prevailed in his childhood or he has returned to them.” In civilized societies, this condition is relatively rare, but Freud speculates that in primitive or savage societies sexual desires have not been as successfully sublimated as in modern Europe, such that the equation between primitives, savages, and neurotics seems to him justified by the available

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