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Morris, P. (2012). Freud, Psychoanalysis and Politics or the Trouble with Civilization. Free Associations, 13(1):96-106.

(2012). Free Associations, 13(1):96-106


Freud, Psychoanalysis and Politics or the Trouble with Civilization

Patricia Morris

Freud's theory of psychoanalysis grew out of work with individuals, yet increasingly he wrote about groups, culture and civilization. Today the politics of the left sometimes dismisses Freud or psychoanalysis with the accusation of political irrelevance. This paper considers the trouble with such arguments: unfamiliarity with the primary texts, with the political context in which Freud wrote, and with the misleading translation of ‘Kultur’ as ‘civilization’.

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