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Biernoff, J. (1959). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXI, 1957: Fetishism: A Review and a Case Study. Simon H. Nagler. Pp. 713-741.. Psychoanal Q., 28:117-118.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXI, 1957: Fetishism: A Review and a Case Study. Simon H. Nagler. Pp. 713-741.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:117-118

Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXI, 1957: Fetishism: A Review and a Case Study. Simon H. Nagler. Pp. 713-741.

Joseph Biernoff

After a fairly thorough review of the psychoanalytic literature on the subject of fetishism, the author, a 'neo-freudian', comes to the conclusion that psychoanalysts have been incorrectly oriented to an approach that is mechanisticbiological rather than dynamic-cultural, in the matter of personality development. From his reading and his study of the case of a homosexual foot-fetishist, Negler concludes that fetishism should not be considered merely as an aspect of psychosexual development, nor as a sexual practice, but as a segment of living, 'motivated by a special kind of consciousness'. It appears that what is common to homosexuality, fetishism, and transvestitism is not the fear of castration (Fenichel), nor escape from the woman (Romm), but rather the fear of the male social role in its entirety in the face of an overwhelming sense of male inadequacy. The fetish symbolizes the resignation of the fetishist. In the author's case, the interest in male feet chiefly signifies obeisance and submission to the almighty

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father, although other psychological elements are also condensed in the fetish ritual. He disagrees with Freud's opinion that the fetish represents the imaginary penis of the postulated phallic mother. Instead it symbolizes the father's phallus as an emblem of adequacy in all areas of the male social role. In denying the symbolic role of the fetish as phallus, the author offers no satisfactory alternative explanation for the specific choice of the fetish, a part object, as symbol.

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Article Citation

Biernoff, J. (1959). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXI, 1957. Psychoanal. Q., 28:117-118

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