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Perelberg, R.J. (1996). Anthropology and Psychoanalysis: an Encounter Through Culture. : Edited by Suzette Heald and Ariane Deluz. London: Routledge. 1994. Pp. 244.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:847-850.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:847-850

Anthropology and Psychoanalysis: an Encounter Through Culture. : Edited by Suzette Heald and Ariane Deluz. London: Routledge. 1994. Pp. 244.

Review by:
Rosine Jozef Perelberg

The interrelationship between psychoanalysis and anthropology is as old as the discipline of psychoanalysis itself. Throughout his work Freud attempted to establish connections between the two disciplines in his attempt to validate the universality of his theories (especially 1911, 1921). Early in the development of social anthropology, however, the individual became excluded from the field of analysis. I suggest that this inaugurated a series of dichotomies, namely those between Nature and Culture in the French tradition, Personality and Culture in America and Right and Sentiment in the British tradition.

Durkheim inaugurated the tradition where-by ‘social facts’ should be studied as ‘things’ and should thus be perceived as independent of and external to the conceptual apparatus of both the individual and the observer. This is linked to his attempts to delineate a field of knowledge opposed to psychology and biology. Several dichotomies, such as those between social/individual, moral rules/sensual appetites, concepts/sensations, sacred/profane and normal/pathological, are derived from this framework.

In England, since in his analysis of the ‘familiar complex’ among the Trobriand Islanders Malinowski claimed that the fundamental opposition in this society was between ‘mother right’ and ‘father love’, the British tradition in anthropology has been trapped in a debate between ‘rights’ against ‘sentiments’ and the systems whereby these are transmitted along different lines in traditional societies.

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