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Birger, D.S. (1983). The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: Hysteria—The Greek Disease. Bennett Simon. Pp. 175-215.. Psychoanal Q., 52:316-317.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: Hysteria—The Greek Disease. Bennett Simon. Pp. 175-215.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:316-317

The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: Hysteria—The Greek Disease. Bennett Simon. Pp. 175-215.

Daniel S. Birger

This article is a wide-ranging study of the concept of hysteria, including its clinical and psychodynamic modern meanings and its origins in Classical Greece. Hysteria

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is traced through its meaning in ancient Greek medicine, its reflection of the degraded position of women in Greek society, and its connection with the concepts of "group hysteria" and "Bacchic frenzy." The position of women in Greek society and the attitude toward their sexuality as reflected in the Classical tragedies, in Plato's account of the wandering uterus, in the medical and biological theories of conception, and in the phenomenon of motivated ignorance regarding female sexuality are discussed in scholarly detail. All the different aspects of the Classical period mentioned above are seen as indications of significant social stresses as well as an index of a great creative ferment reflected in the relations between the sexes.

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Article Citation

Birger, D.S. (1983). The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979. Psychoanal. Q., 52:316-317

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