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Rubinfine, D.L. (1959). American Journal of Psychiatry. CXIII, 1956: Anxiety Problems Within Cultural Settings. Kenneth E. Appel. Pp. 526-529.. Psychoanal Q., 28:128.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Journal of Psychiatry. CXIII, 1956: Anxiety Problems Within Cultural Settings. Kenneth E. Appel. Pp. 526-529.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:128

American Journal of Psychiatry. CXIII, 1956: Anxiety Problems Within Cultural Settings. Kenneth E. Appel. Pp. 526-529.

David L. Rubinfine

Human behavior can scarcely be conceived, much less understood, without considering the cultural context. The individual tries to acquire material which the environment refuses to give; the environment, or culture, tries to force material that the individual tries to reject. If the individual cannot cope with the conflict, defense mechanisms associated with anxiety develop. Appel gives examples of cultural conditions producing ego, id, and superego types of anxiety. Therapy is likely to be appropriate and effective only if it includes consideration of the culture and environment.

The origin of anxiety differs according to the thinker. The profusion, diversity, and conflict of theories is enough to cause a kind of cultural anxiety among psychiatrists and analysts themselves. Anthropology brings to attention the relativity of culture; the relativity of culture could bring to mind the relativity of concepts and formulations in psychiatry. Viewing the formulations, concepts, and theories of psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the broader perspectives of anthropology will help us to develop sharper outlines and deepen our insights. Perhaps we shall be able to join in a collaborative agape to the benefit of our patients.

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Article Citation

Rubinfine, D.L. (1959). American Journal of Psychiatry. CXIII, 1956. Psychoanal. Q., 28:128

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