Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see the German word that Freud used to refer to a concept…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to know the exact German word that Freud used to refer to a psychoanalytic concept? Move your mouse over a paragraph while reading The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud and a window will emerge displaying the text in its original German version.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Aarons, Z.A. (1975). Fetish, Fact and Fantasy: A Clinical Study of the Problems of Fetishism. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 2:199-230.

(1975). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 2:199-230

Fetish, Fact and Fantasy: A Clinical Study of the Problems of Fetishism

Z. Alexander Aarons


Our understanding of fetishism is based upon Freud's brief but concise accounts of the subject in a short section of the 'Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality' (1905), his papers on 'Fetishism' (1927), 'Splitting of the Ego in the Process of Defence' (1940a), and remarks at the end of chapter eight of 'An Outline of Psychoanalysis' (1940b). The case that will be discussed in this clinical presentation is further verification of Freud's theory of the fetishistic phenomenon which, as he said, is the clearest evidence of the existence of the castration complex. It will also illustrate the predisposition to fetishism, namely, the boy's identification with his mother during the early pre-oedipal period of development. As an introduction to the analytic case material, I would first like to summarize and discuss Freud's explanation of fetishism together with comments on later contributions to the subject by Bak (1953), (1971) and Greenacre (1953), (1955), (1960), (1968), (1969).

The fetishistic patient seeks treatment because of incapacitating and ubiquitous anxiety arising from the precarious basis of his object relationships, and the confusion in his self-image. His fetishism is not, in the beginning, felt as a symptom; however, when it arises in the course of the analysis, it is recognized as an abnormality and revealed with embarrassment. It has been the patient's secret (Greenacre), hidden from the world, and retained as a highly prized erotic gratification around which his fantasy life revolves.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.