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Elkisch, P. (1979). "Totem and Taboo" in a Latency Boy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 27:65-77.

(1979). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 27:65-77

"Totem and Taboo" in a Latency Boy

Paula Elkisch, Ph.D.


Against the background of Freud's "Totem and Taboo" the case of a seven-year-old boy is discussed, focusing on his identification with a cat. Guided by Freud's dialectic thinking and his discussion of the phenomena of patriarchy and matriarchy, one is led to contemplate the totemism of a matriarchally oriented boy. The attempt to understand this child's pathology is based upon the concept of the specificity of a developmental phase. In the light of anthropological data, clinical phenomena are evaluated ontogenetically, in analogy with the recapitulation hypothesis.

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