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(1959). Psychiatry. XXI, 1958: Cultural Thought Models in Primitive and Modern Psychiatric Theories. George Devereux. Pp. 359-374.. Psychoanal Q., 28:572.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychiatry. XXI, 1958: Cultural Thought Models in Primitive and Modern Psychiatric Theories. George Devereux. Pp. 359-374.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:572

Psychiatry. XXI, 1958: Cultural Thought Models in Primitive and Modern Psychiatric Theories. George Devereux. Pp. 359-374.

Psychiatric and psychoanalytic theories or theoretical trends are often unconsciously determined by cultural thought models rather than by scientific thinking. Creative scientific thinking cannot be culture-bound. The psychiatrist's class identifications, status seeking, and particularly his craving for the respectability of the physical sciences, render him vulnerable to culturally-determined biases. After presenting several historical and cross-cultural examples, Devereux analyzes three modern psychiatric theories: 1, the criterion of adjustment as a gauge of sanity; 2, the organic etiology of mental disorders; and 3, the death instinct.

Convincing evidence is marshaled to reveal their genesis in cultural thought models (the validity of the theories is irrelevant to the subject). The recent preoccupation of many psychoanalysts with the occult, supernatural, and formal religions, and the recrudescence of Jungian psychoanalysis, are similarly interpreted as manifestations of a serious reculturalization of psychiatry and psychoanalysis.

This paper is unreservedly recommended for psychoanalysts and other workers in the behavioral and social sciences.

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Article Citation

(1959). Psychiatry. XXI, 1958. Psychoanal. Q., 28:572

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