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(1949). Joint Meetings of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Psychoanalytic Societies. Psychoanal Q., 18:414-415.

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(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:414-415

Joint Meetings of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Psychoanalytic Societies

February 17, 1949. CULTURE AND CLINIC. Marvin K. Opler, Ph.D.

Psychoanalysis and cultural anthropology are, and should be, intimately related. Both deal with man and with his behavior as a cultural being. But the manner in which they are properly related must be consistent with the best information and the best tenets of each field. In the first quarter of the century, this relationship left much to be desired. In the main, it fell into two phases: first, a period of evolutionary anthropology, old style, in which, in Spencer for example, civilization was seen as in part being a race evolution, a working out of psychic energies from primitive times in response to what Spencer called 'internal, original factors' (psychogenetic factors in evolution) beginning with an 'infantile, emotional, magic-ridden primitive'. This primitive had never been found, but he provided a comparison with individual clinical cases, ontogenetically understood, and by imputation, a parallel phylogeny. This was the time when, to quote Whitehead, society used 'biological generalizations pressed into its support'; and it was the time when Totem and Taboo discussed the primal parricidal act, based on Lang-Atkinson theorizing concerning totemism, traceable in the early works

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