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Riggall, R.M. (1925). General: Bronislaw Malinowski. Psycho-Analysis and Anthropology. Psyche, 1924, Vol. IV, p. 293.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 6:59-60.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: General: Bronislaw Malinowski. Psycho-Analysis and Anthropology. Psyche, 1924, Vol. IV, p. 293.

(1925). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 6:59-60

General: Bronislaw Malinowski. Psycho-Analysis and Anthropology. Psyche, 1924, Vol. IV, p. 293.

Robert M. Riggall

In this article, which is part of a larger publication on The Sexual Life of Savages, Malinowski outlines the nuclear complex in a matrilineal society hitherto unexplored. It is not correct to assume that the Oedipus complex is found in every savage or barbarous society, it must vary with the constitution of the family. The patriarchal family of modern civilization is compared with the matrilineal family of certain island communities in Melanesia. The Trobriand Islanders live in a social order in which kinship is reckoned through the mother, succession and inheritance only descending through the maternal line. The boy succeeds to the social position of the mother's brother, inheriting possessions from the maternal uncle instead of from the father. Owing to a strict taboo the boys and girls of the same mother are separated at an early age. The sexual development of the child differs from that present in civilized communities, and Malinowski failed to find any traces of sexual indecencies, interest in excretory functions or exhibitionism. There is no moral reprobation of infantile sexuality; small children play together in a sort of juvenile

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republic, one of their main interests consisting of sexual pastimes. Thus the latency period of more civilized communities is absent. Repression is connected with submission to matriarchal tribal law and the prohibition of exogamy. In the Trobriands there is no friction between father and son, and the infantile craving for the mother spends itself naturally and spontaneously. The ambivalent attitude of veneration and dislike is felt between the man and his mother's brother, while repression of incestuous tendencies are connected only with the sister. In place of the usual Oedipus complex we find the wish to marry the sister and to kill the maternal uncle. From the foregoing the author claims to have established that Freud's views follow modifications brought about by various social constitutions. He thinks that these conclusions might amplify some of the Freudian formulæ in showing the correlation existing between biological and social influences: the universal existence of the Oedipus complex should not be assumed.

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Article Citation

Riggall, R.M. (1925). General. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 6:59-60

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