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J., E. (1928). Sex and Repression in Savage Society: By Bronislaw Malinowski, D.Sc. (International Library of Psychology and Scientific Method, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., London, 1927. Pp. 285. Price 10 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 9:364-374.

(1928). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 9:364-374

Sex and Repression in Savage Society: By Bronislaw Malinowski, D.Sc. (International Library of Psychology and Scientific Method, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., London, 1927. Pp. 285. Price 10 s. 6 d.)

Review by:
E. J.

We learn from the publisher's announcement that 'Dr. Malinowski was the first anthropologist in a position to apply psycho-analytic methods to a savage race'. But also that he did so in a very special manner, for 'the writer, however, is by no means uncritical of the psycho-analytic method. In a caustic manner he exposes Freud's famous theory of the origins of Totemism, a theory developed so brilliantly yet fallaciously by Rank, Reik, Róheim, and Jones'.

It may seem ungracious not to welcome whole-heartedly this much-needed co-operation between anthropologist and psycho-analyst, but for the following reason we can do so only with considerable qualification. Dr. Malinowski, an expert anthropologist and a spirited writer, belongs to the now familiar series of distinguished men, among whom we may count Drs. McDougall and Rivers, who after a momentary approach to psychoanalysis develop a flight reaction on closer contact with it. The book thus consists of a jumble of interesting confirmations, misunderstandings and subtle distortions which makes it very difficult to review adequately in a reasonable space. The difficulty is not lessened by the fact that different parts of the book were written with intervals of six years during which the author's resistances were being increasingly mobilised. He frankly describes this process in the opening words of the Preface. 'The doctrine of psycho-analysis has had within the last ten years a truly meteoric rise in popular favour.

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