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(1939). Laubscher, B. J. F. Sex, Custom and Psychopathology. A Study of South African Pagan Natives. New York: Robert M. McBride & Company. $5.00.. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(3):455-456.
(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(3):455-456
Laubscher, B. J. F. Sex, Custom and Psychopathology. A Study of South African Pagan Natives. New York: Robert M. McBride & Company. $5.00.
Dr. Laubscher is a psychiatrist of Cape Town, Africa, and has written a large—347-page, with index—thoroughly scientific and valuable book on ethnology and psychiatry. The material is drawn mostly from a tribe of natives, the Tembu, whose country, in proximity to the Queenstown Mental Hospital, gave him special opportunities to study these natives, both in their average communal life and more in the psychopathological variations which offer so much insight into the well regulated mental activities.
In the Introduction he would first point out that since there is such an enormous difference in the social cultural organization of these natives and that of ‘civilized’ lands, and such a uniformity of patterns in the psychopathological pictures in the two, his accent will fall upon the structural or somatic organization. For him ‘constitution’ should be put into greater prominence than has been the trend on recent years. The cultural pattern may determine the content but does not seem to modify the structure of the mental disturbances from that seen in European cultures.
He further points out the great root similarities in the socio-religious practices for which Frazer has so amply prepared the student of such matters. Thus he homologizes many of the “rites, festivals, circumcision and the rest.” The phallic cult, he observes, “which permeates this culture, with those mythological creatures of evil, is almost an object lesson illustrating Professor Freud's theories, and shows that the conceptions of psychoanalysis are not far-fetched when viewed in the light of these mythological beliefs.”
As psychiatrist his duties were in the hospital and in the field.
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