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The circulation of psychoanalytical knowledge and practice in the social sciences

Abstract

A concise but broad-based review is presented of the circulation of knowledge and practices from psychoanalysis in the social sciences, especially anthropology. The different contexts in which the concepts and conceptions of psychoanalysis have been read, refuted, or appropriated by different national schools of thought and intellectual traditions and the ways psychoanalysis itself has interacted with anthropological knowledge and its incorporations of psychoanalytical knowledge are explored. The interpretations of these two major groups of knowledge are referred to as participating in a common cultural horizon with a common epistemological orientation, and the sources of the frequent mistaken beliefs occurring in this interplay are also addressed.

Keywords:
psychoanalysis; social sciences; anthropology; Western culture; romanticism

Resumo

Trata-se de apresentar um quadro ao mesmo tempo abrangente e sintético da circulação dos saberes e práticas da psicanálise nas ciências sociais, com ênfase na antropologia. Exploram-se os diferentes contextos em que os conceitos e concepções da psicanálise foram lidos, recusados ou apropriados pelas escolas de pensamento e tradições intelectuais nacionais, assim como as formas pelas quais a própria psicanálise dialogou com o conhecimento antropológico e com suas incorporações do conhecimento psicanalítico. Faz-se referência às interpretações desses dois grandes grupos de saber como partícipes de um comum horizonte cultural e comum orientação epistemológica, tanto quanto às fontes dos frequentes equívocos ocorrentes em seus diálogos.

Palavras-chave:
psicanálise; ciências sociais; antropologia; cultura ocidental; romantismo

The field of the social sciences, in full creative flow in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, was an important field for the spread and circulation of psychoanalysis, from Sigmund Freud's earliest publications on. What this text does is sum up the different stages in the dialogue that has unfolded since those early years, which has enriched both spheres of knowledge, despite its multiple vicissitudes.

I am faced, in my desire to encapsulate this long trajectory of interchange between the social sciences and the different branches of psychoanalysis, with the particular difficulty of one who is writing from the perspective of the former (as an anthropologist) to readers of many different academic backgrounds, including psychoanalysis. This means some clarification is required concerning what may come across as imprecise or ingenuous on my part concerning what precisely this “psychoanalysis” is. I would stress from the outset that from my perspective, this “native” category should be adopted whenever its practitioners and users call it so, notwithstanding any personal preferences I may have or the specific epistemological and political leanings of the different thinkers presented here.

Freud and his work in the field of the social sciences was first referenced at the time of the Great War. For multiple reasons, leading ethnologists in the UK and the USA were inclined either to partially accept psychoanalysis or to reject it. This was undoubtedly in keeping with the prevailing currents by which Freud's proposals were spread, constituting the first boom of psychoanalysis, albeit at this time exclusively amongst intellectual cosmopolitan elites.

Several factors inherent to the production and spread of knowledge about psychoanalysis in the first two decades of the twentieth century affected the way Freud and psychoanalysis were presented to social scientists. These included more objective issues, like the fact that Freud was still producing his ideas; people's ability or inability to read German and the pace of production and quality of the first translations of his work; the initial means of academic circulation of the different aspects of this new doctrine; but also, of course, the complex web of values for and against Freud's theories through which they were spread amongst the national, class and academic sub-cultures.

The interpretation of dreams, dated 1899-1900, had already been of general interest to ethnologists, especially the British, given the role attributed to these “mental” phenomena in the interpretation of “belief” by the anthropologist Edward B. Tylor (Pulman, 1989PULMAN, Bertrand. Aux origines du débat anthropologie/psychanalyse: C.G. Seligman. Gradhiva, v.6, p.35-49. 1989., p.40). But the publication of Totem and taboo in 1913-1914 and its rapid circulation amongst the English speaking world is what really constituted the founding milestone in this process. What until then could have been taken for no more than a rearrangement of the theories of psychology and psychiatry that had multiplied in German culture since the early 1800s was now felt in full force as mediating the interpretation of ethnological and cultural facts in general. The very title of the work, referring to two “totemic” categories of ethnology, the explicit intention in its sub-title of producing an interpretation, via psychoanalysis, of “the mental lives of savages,” or its stated opposition to Wilhelm Wundt's well-known propositions about the “psychology of peoples” (not to mention Carl Gustav Jung by this time) made some attention on the part of social scientists inevitable, especially those who felt the need to take a stance towards the assumptions of the ethnologists on whose material and hypotheses Freud had drawn. However, the attention given to Totem and taboo emanated to all Freudian thinking, carefully transposed to this audacious and wide-ranging proposal. This did not mean that Freud was then better understood or the subject of more study, but it did mean that what could be perceived of his ideas came to count later on in the then burgeoning market for sociocultural conceptions of human phenomena.

It is through these contending interpretative approaches that Freud was appropriated during this “heroic” period marked by the presence of his first readers and interpreters. Or, as the French sociologist Bertrand Pulman (1984PULMAN, Bertrand. Anthropologie et psychanalyse: “paix et guerre” entre les herméneutiques. Connexions, v.44, p.81-97. 1984., p.2), specialized in the links between anthropology and psychoanalysis, put it, “the period of scientific productivity of the first generation of anthropologists to have read, or to have believed to have read, Freud.”1 1 In this and other citations of texts from non-English languages, a free translation has been provided.

The first major trend to be examined is that of the French school of sociology. Concerned with firmly establishing the new conception of social facts based on the proposals of Émile Durkheim, the school was set in fundamental confrontation against “individualistic” reductionism. For this, it was strategic and coherent for them to clearly demarcate the distinction from the “psychology-related” areas, associated with individualism, attributing them an empirical reality that was denied epistemologically to the “individualist sociologies,” of which Herbert Spencer's theories were a prime example. It is no surprise, then, that Freud's images and psychoanalysis made such few inroads into this field, in line with the initial reticence with which they were met by the academic milieu in France. Marcel Mauss, for instance, always referred obliquely to psychoanalysis when reviewing or making critical reference in the Année Sociologique to colleagues who included them in their analyses.

On the other side of the English Channel, the long, strong tradition of English “mentalism” was initially receptive to psychoanalysis, in opposition to French positivism. Meanwhile, different aspects of Freud's proposals were either being fitted into evolutionism, still very much in vogue, or were used to supply justifications for both diffusionism and anti-diffusionism, which vied with one another throughout the 1920s. Without doubt, the reception of psychoanalysis in this context was (and to a certain extent still is) strongly conditioned by the empiricism underpinning British thinking. These more or less favorable circumstances for interlocution were, however, derailed as soon as Alfred R. Radcliffe-Brown's version of Durkheim's sociology took root in the field of British anthropology.

It is harder to sum up the reactions in Germany, where the field was far more fragmented at the time, and also far more dense and complex. Georg Simmel, who shared many of Freud's intellectual influences, does not seem to have been familiar with his work, despite several parallels when it comes to their diagnoses of modern life and their “psychological” effects (on “nerves,” for instance; cf. Brenna B., 2009BRENNA B., Jorge E. De la tragedia al malestar en la cultura: Georg Simmel y Sigmund Freud. Argumentos, v.22, n.60, p.59-78. Disponível em: http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0187-57952009000200004&lng=es&tlng=es. Acesso em: 25 ago. 2013. 2009.
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). It is known that Max Weber was familiar with Freud's proposals, but with very peculiar implications, at the time of his extended period of severe depression. As the historian Arthur Mitzman (1969MITZMAN, Arthur. The iron cage: an historical interpretation of Max Weber. New Brunswick: Transaction Books. 1969., p.277ff.)– who himself often makes reference to Freudian psychodynamics in his excellent analysis of the German sociologist's biography – puts it, Weber reacted with fury when in 1907 he received the manuscript of an article submitted to his Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, whose author, one “doctor Gross,” a disciple of Freud's, defended “sexual communism.” The doctor was a member of Weber and his wife's social circle in Heidelberg, which made Weber's criticism even more charged, and called for a diplomatic letter to the editor. Weber was keen to distinguish what he knew of Freudian thinking from this position, which contrasted starkly with his constant concern with rigorous ethical control, as opposed to what he associated with the “worst side of Nietzsche” (Mitzman, 1969MITZMAN, Arthur. The iron cage: an historical interpretation of Max Weber. New Brunswick: Transaction Books. 1969., p.277ff.).

By the 1930s, Norbert Elias was explicitly using certain aspects of Freudian thinking to support his theories about civilization processes as well as the idea of pulsions and their control – as we will see later on.

The penetration of Freud's ideas into the field in the US was intimately linked to the legacy of German-born Franz Boas's “culturalism” in his fight against evolutionism, eugenic racism, and all forms of a priori “universalism.” The appropriation of psychoanalysis – or at least certain of Freud's ideas – came about amongst the generation of his disciples, reinforcing some of the postulations and strategies of a school of thought basically concerned with the differentiated collective forms of reproduction of human “behavior.” We will discuss this when addressing the school of culture and personality.

Alongside the diversification of the intellectual positions of the receivers of psychoanalysis, there was a concomitant diversification of positions within this new field of knowledge. Not only was Freud's own thinking advanced permanently through subtle shifts, but, from a very early stage, there was a proliferation of rearrangements, dissentions, and schisms amongs this disciples. For instance, the “psychoanalytic anthropology” proposed by Geza Roheim (since 1915, according to the author) already expressed more the theoretical developments of Sandor Ferenczi (and later Melanie Klein) than those of supposedly orthodox Freudian lines.

The considerable complexity of the field of psychoanalysis in the early 1920s cannot, however, be ruled out as a source of part of the many misunderstandings in its appropriation by other spheres of human knowledge, whether by those for whom this “confusion” only confirmed the unreliable nature of the new theory or by those who – positively oriented – ended up dissociating or combining questions that psychoanalysis sought to organize according to its own, not always very explicit principles. The text in which Charles G. Seligman (1924)SELIGMAN, Charles G. Anthropology and psychology: a study of some points of contact. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, v.54, p.13-46. 1924. spoke out for psychoanalysis before the Royal Anthropological Society in his presidential address in 1924 shows a curious melding of reorganized fragments of Jung with a brief mention of Freud. This founding problem of the relationship between the social sciences and the multiple faces of psychoanalysis has never, indeed, ceased to be one of the core variables of its history.

The partial and total denial of the legitimacy of psychoanalytical knowledge did not cease to exist in social science circles. Initially, it was mostly muted, an unwillingness to spend time on an unworthy topic. Systematic, explicit opposition only grew as the proposals for its full or partial appropriation came to be highlighted at the margins of the discipline and thus to deserve contrastive demarcation. Much later, the deeply critical positions voiced by the English functional anthropologist Edmund Leach (1970)LEACH, Edmund. Lévi-Strauss. London: Fontana; Collins. 1970., the American evolutionary anthropologist Marvin Harris (cited in Eysenck, 1985EYSENCK, Hans. Decline and fall of the Freudian empire. New York: Viking. 1985., p.191), and others, attacked psychoanalysis as an unworthy ally of Lévi-Straussian intellectualism in the former case and American culturalism in the latter.

The refutations and partial rejections appear in countless forms. A special place should be set aside for the monuments of the heroic times, since even those authors who left behind a tradition of denying or criticizing psychoanalysis always couched their words in a careful, nuanced way, when they were not passionately involved with their ambivalent adversary. Bronislaw Malinowski, a British-based Pole, and Alfred Kroeber, a German settled in the US, are prime examples. The former, who supposedly demonstrated the non-universality of the Oedipus complex, always maintained an intimate relationship with the evolution of psychoanalytic thinking, which in a way supplied him with an alibi and justification for his then unorthodox concerns with sexuality and desire (cf. Stocking Jr., 1986STOCKING JR., George. Anthropology and the science of the irrational: Malinowski's encounter with Freudian psychoanalysis. In: Stocking Jr., George (Ed.). Malinowski, Rivers, Benedict and others. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press. 1986.). A sporadic frequenter of the Viennese psychoanalytical circles and a correspondent of Marie Bonaparte's, Malinowski was the key figure in an important episode in the complicated relationship between the two camps. Soon after Freud reached London in exile, Malinowski sent him a letter of welcome via Anna Freud. Freud's reply mentioned his surprise at being welcomed by a supposed “opponent” of psychoanalysis; and this was succeeded by other proofs of mindful respect and appreciation on the part of the local anthropological community.

Meanwhile, Kroeber (1920)KROEBER, Alfred. Totem and tabu: an ethnologic psychoanalysis. American Anthropologist, v.22, n.1, p.48-56. 1920., author of the first – and forceful – refutation of the theses in Totem and taboo, regarded himself as a practicing psychoanalyst at the time of the publication of his famous review in the American Anthropologist. Interestingly, long after completing his doctorate in anthropology, he had successively experimented with psychoanalytical treatment and even psychotherapy, only returning whole-heartedly to anthropology in 1922 (Jurji, 1974JURJI, E. David. Psychoanalytic anthropology: orthodox psychoanalysis in American anthropology as found in the work of Geza Roheim, Weston La Barre, and Georges Devereux. Tese (Doutorado) – University of Washington, Ann Arbour. 1974., p.25). The terms of a second review, this one from 1939, attest to his ongoing awareness of and critical interest in the work of Freud (Kroeber, 1939KROEBER, Alfred. Totem and taboo in retrospect. American Journal of Sociology, v.45, p.446-451. 1939.).

These many partial acceptances should be seen against the backdrop of what Pulman (1984PULMAN, Bertrand. Anthropologie et psychanalyse: “paix et guerre” entre les herméneutiques. Connexions, v.44, p.81-97. 1984., p.12) calls “ecumenical temptation,” or a tendency to minimize the dimension of the conflict of the relationship between the two disciplines, which could always have served as a kind of excuse for insufficient knowledge of the theories of psychoanalysis or as cover against any “subversive” aspects contained in so many of its postulations. But the truth is that the rhetorical calls to cooperation and interlocution were many even in the time of the earliest conflicts, serving to support the different incursions and approaches made, to the advantage of the authors' analytical and methodological options.

The two main figures who introduced psychoanalysis to British anthropology – notable for having led a pioneering anthropological field study, the Torres Straits expedition (1898) – were William H. Rivers and Charles G. Seligman. Both were physicians and greatly interest in physiology, and only turned to psychoanalysis more systematically in their clinical work on cases of traumatic neurosis during the First World War. Despite sharing a similar introduction to the new field of knowledge, their approaches took diametrically opposing directions because of demarcations inside the field of anthropology itself. Rivers, who saw the notion of “trauma” as a welcome bridge between his interests in ethnology and physiology, ended up associating the notion of “unconscious” with what he called “occult sources” (which had been revealed to him by a personal method of “dream association”), leading him to draw a parallel between ontogenetic development, subject to the occurrence of real traumas, and social development, subject to the “traumas” deriving from cultural contact. His adhesion to a hyper-diffusionist model of social dynamics therefore encountered in one sphere of psychoanalysis the images needed for the expression of a very radical, controversial theory (Pulman, 1986PULMAN, Bertrand. Aux origines du débat ethnologie/psychanalyse: William Halse Rivers. L'Homme, v.100, p.119-141. 1986.). Seligman's position occupied the intersection between the Freudian question of dream symbolism and Jung's models of innate character dispositions. Seligman had been strongly impressed by the different human behaviors encountered in his fieldwork in Melanesia, and sustained his anti-diffusionist position on the findings of a scheduled “comparative study of the universal nature of dream symbolism” (which inspired Malinowski to consider “psychoanalytical” questions even when in the field on the Trobriand islands) and on a Jungian classification of extroversion/introversion. The question of the unconscious, which had essentially prevailed in Rivers's work, was completely overtaken here by manifest behaviors. Thus, there is no reason to disagree with Pulman, who, painstakingly investigating these trends in the relationship between anthropology and psychoanalysis, stated that “the relationship between anthropology and psychoanalysis grew around movements that were, curiously enough, totally alien to psychoanalysis” (Pulman, 1989PULMAN, Bertrand. Aux origines du débat anthropologie/psychanalyse: C.G. Seligman. Gradhiva, v.6, p.35-49. 1989., p.45; cf. also Pulman, 1991PULMAN, Bertrand. Les anthropologues face à la psychanalyse. Revue Internationale d'Histoire de la Psychanalyse, v.4, p.427-445. 1991.).

Along the same lines, the influences of Freud's thinking can be seen in the career of the British-based German sociologist Norbert Elias (cf. Joly, 2010JOLY, Marc (Ed.). Norbert Elias: au-delà de Freud: sociologie, psychologie, psychanalyse. Paris: La Découverte. 2010.). His work, which began with the monumental The civilizing process (Elias, 1990ELIAS, Norbert. O processo civilizador: uma história dos costumes. v.1. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar. 1990., 1994ELIAS, Norbert. O processo civilizador: formação do Estado e civilização. v.2. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar. 1994.), expresses a peculiar reading of Freud's theories, stressing aspects ofthe repression, social control, of pulsions and instinctual impulses. Elias conceived of the process of gradual development of civilization in human experience as having gone through three stages. The first was about overcoming environmental challenges, motivating a certain type of social and psychological configuration; the second had to do with addressing interpersonal competition and social struggle; and the third was about dealing with the conflicts and tensions within each individual. In this final phase, assured by the State monopoly of physical force, internal self-control, expressed corporeally with increasing detail and severity, would come to prevail. The emergence of psychoanalysis, he argued, simultaneously expressed the dynamics of this phase and allowed for it to be understood – on the plane that he called “psychogenesis.”

In a more recent phase of his career, the subject reappeared, especially in a book he coauthored with Eric Dunning (Elias, Dunning, 1986ELIAS, Norbert; DUNNING, Eric. Quest for excitement: sport and leisure in the civilizing process. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 1986.), considered a precious contribution for understanding many features of modern Western life, especially sport. It contains explicit references to Freud and the concepts of “pulsion,” “sublimation,” and “superego” – with a clear evocation of the subjects particularly addressed in Civilization and its discontents.

Similar analyses could be made concerning all those who followed this shifting enterprise. The only difference, largely due to the growing awareness of the impasses, was perhaps a greater attention to the preconditions for the task, with an associated passage to a more sophisticated level of demands, both more immediate and more demanding.

The emphasis on this condition of psychoanalysis of totemic reference when addressing the social sciences cannot cover up the perception of a similar, concomitant process in the opposite direction, which sparked a very complex set of interplays that could on some level be analyzed as a common field. This is already borne out by Freud's use of some 1800s anthropology, as well as the appropriation of Freud by Malinowski, of Malinowski by Wilhelm Reich, and of Reich by part of the school of culture and personality. It was also mediated by Ferenczi and Melanie Klein in the work of Geza Roheim, and the influence of this on Georges Devereux and his disciplines. It also involved Lévi-Strauss's use of the distinction between Jung and Freud for some of his analytical propositions and the complex associations between the thinking of Jacques Lacan and Claude Lévi-Strauss (cf. Zafiropoulos, 2001ZAFIROPOULOS, Markos. Lacan et les sciences sociales. Paris: PUF. 2001., 2003ZAFIROPOULOS, Markos. Lacan et Lévi-Strauss ou le retour à Freud, 1951-1957. Paris: PUF. 2003.; Basualdo, 2011BASUALDO, Carina. Lacan (Freud) Lévi-Strauss: chronique d'une reencontre ratée. Lormont: Le Bord de l'Eau. 2011.). Part of the school of culture and personality interacted directly with American “ego psychology” and thus with Anna Freud, while Gilbert Durand's anthropology of the imaginary took Jung as a core reference.

The emergence of attempts to observe and analyze this potential common ground is already indicative of the end of the heroic times and the passage to a new regime of relations, which can largely be traced back to the 1950s. Two wide-ranging and important comparative texts can be taken as symbolic of this transition: an article by American anthropologist Weston La Barre (1958)LA BARRE, Weston. The influence of Freud on anthropology. American Imago, v.15, p.203-246. 1958. on the influence of Freud on anthropology, and a book on sociology and psychoanalysis by French sociologist Roger Bastide (1974)BASTIDE, Roger. Sociologia e psicanálise. São Paulo: Melhoramentos. 1974. published in 1950, when he was returning from Brazil to France. The nature of both works is, however, highly descriptive and “eclectic,” as they sought to put all the dimensions of the history of the debates on the same level of reality. Of a completely different nature are the few, thought-provoking pages at the end of Michel Foucault's (1966)FOUCAULT, Michel. As palavras e as coisas. Lisboa: Portugália. 1966.The order of things about what unites and separates ethnology and psychoanalysis (along with linguistics) beyond the regular horizon of the humanities: the famous “perpetual principle of unease, rectification, critique, and contestation” (p.485) of what he called the “sciences of the unconscious” (p.491).

In another text on the interplay between the two disciplines published in a collection brought out to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Freud (Duarte, 1989DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Freud e a imaginação sociológica moderna. In: Birman, Joel (Ed.). Freud: 50 anos depois. Rio de Janeiro: Relume-Dumará. p.199-218. 1989.), I sought to use as an indicator of this complex circulation three references of very different amplitude: Roger Bastide's 1974BASTIDE, Roger. Sociologia e psicanálise. São Paulo: Melhoramentos. 1974. book, Sociology and psychoanalysis, Robert Holter's 1978 article/report on psychoanalytical questions and methods in anthropological fieldwork, and a research report by two French psychoanalysts, Michèle Bertrand and Bernard Doray (1989BERTRAND, Michèle; DORAY, Bernard. Psychanalyse et sciences sociales: pratiques, théories, institutions. Paris: La Découverte. 1989., 2000BERTRAND, Michèle; DORAY, Bernard. Psychanalyse, sciences sociales, sociétés: pour une mise en perspective. L'Homme et la société, v.138, n.4, p.11-33. Disponível em: http://www.persee.fr/doc/homso_0018-4306_2000_num_138_4_3240. Acesso em: 9 jun. 2017. 2000.
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), the latter of whom is also a psychiatrist with a background in anthropology, on the “influence of psychoanalysis in the practice of research in the sciences of man and society,” presented in 1987 (published in 1989 and reedited in 2000).

A very brief summary of the key points of this literature reveals some significant dimensions that are still present in the contemporary field. Bastide (1974BASTIDE, Roger. Sociologia e psicanálise. São Paulo: Melhoramentos. 1974., p.216), whose book is an ambitious overview of the relationships between sociology and psychoanalysis, begins by speaking of the “universality and identity of the nature of the human spirit” as a common quality. This is a very basic trait of the confluence between the two areas, of which we hardly concern ourselves today; constructed as it was against a backdrop of eugenics and racism in the first half of the twentieth century. The interest of many anthropologists from that time in psychoanalysis revolved around this sense of a universal alliance against the peculiarities that fed off the biomedical theory of degeneration (cf. Russo, 1998RUSSO, Jane A. Raça, psiquiatria e medicina-legal: notas sobre a “pré-história” da psicanálise no Brasil. Horizontes Antropológicos, v.4, n.9, p.85-102. 1998.; Duarte, 2000DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Anthropologie, psychanalyse et “civilisation” du Brésil dans l'entre-deux-guerres. Revue de Synthèse: Anthropologies, États et Populations, n.3-4, p.325-344. 2000.). His second point is about the “holistic method,” meaning an emphasis on totality: “the clinical method proposed by Freud … is a holistic method. As such, it has similarities with Marxism by insisting on the notion of ‘totalities’ and the anthropology of M. Mauss, which is a study of ‘total social facts’” (Bastide, 1974BASTIDE, Roger. Sociologia e psicanálise. São Paulo: Melhoramentos. 1974., p.212; emphasis in the original). The evocation of the very singular conception of psychoanalysis as a “mode of comprehension” by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard and the proposal of “Heisenbergian complementarity” proposed by the Hungarian-French-American ethnopsychiatrist Georges Devereux for reflecting on the relationship between the two areas of knowledge are, for Bastide, a corroboration of this shared dimension.

Continuity between the normal and the pathological is another point that is highlighted – and Bastide draws attention to the shared influence of Claude Bernard's organicism on Durkheim and Freud. Finally, he stresses what he calls the “preeminence of meaning,” following, in his own terms, the reading of the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur concerning the effect of meaning in psychoanalysis. It is a reference to what in anthropology is called “symbolization,” as opposed to reductionistic materialistic interpretations of the human.

Holter's work (1978) is the result of a major study undertaken by the American Psychoanalytic Association and consists of a kind of summing up of the intimate relationships between anthropological culturalism and ego psychology, with their concern with childhood development and adaptive pragmatics of behavior. It is important how he underlines the importance of the hypothesis of the unconscious (especially dreams) and the relationship between observer and observed as constitutive of psychic reality. The transcription of the debate that took place after the report, published in the same issue of The Journal of Psychoanalytical Anthropology, reveals a clear rejection on the part of some leading American anthropologists, like Vincent Crapanzano and Robert F. Murphy, of the terms of the research project.

The report by Bertrand and Doray, written far more recently (1989), reflects the conditions in the field in France under the strong influence of structuralism on the one hand and the social and academic prestige of psychoanalysis on the other. It reveals particular interest in the “methodological” contributions of psychoanalysis, including the “transference situation” as an intrinsic condition for the relationship between the researcher and the research object (as opposed to any positivistic pretentions) – in other words, as an indelible presence of subjectivity as a condition of the research setting. Another key point is that of “free-floating attention”: not selecting the field material and allowing everything from the most objective to the most subjective in the contact situation in the field to come into play. The data from the research report also refer to a “culture of listening” as a divergence between psychoanalytic setting and the opening to the other in anthropological experiences in the field. The importance of an empty, structural concept of the unconscious emerges in the material and in the references to dreams and sexuality (completely absent from Holter's text). It also features the possibility for common work concerning the processes of subjective constitution and identification (the “differential subjectivation” I proposed in Duarte, 2011DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Geração, fratria e gênero: um estudo do mandato transgeracional e subjetivação. Trivium: Estudos Interdisciplinares, v.3, n.1, p.1-19. 2011.), especially when it comes to the function of ideas and parental structuring.

I added to these points, still in the cited text, two others in which it seems to me there was also some communion between the two areas of knowledge: the temporal constancy of the present, in the sense that the current situation is what dictates the meaning of any memory or projection (cf. Duarte, Venancio, 1995DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias; VENANCIO, Ana Teresa. O espírito e a pulsão (o dilema físico-moral nas teorias da pessoa e da cultura de W. Wundt). Mana: Estudos de Antropologia Social, v.1, n.1, p.69-98. 1995., on this subject in Wilhelm Wundt); and the denaturalization of reality (including human relations) heroically pursued by both Freud and Durkheim in their respective spheres (cf. Duarte, 1989DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Freud e a imaginação sociológica moderna. In: Birman, Joel (Ed.). Freud: 50 anos depois. Rio de Janeiro: Relume-Dumará. p.199-218. 1989., p.207). Both points investigate in greater depth the notion of this “preeminence of meaning” to which Bastide refers. It would have been interesting to compare Bertrand and Doray's report with that of Godelier and Hassoun (1996)GODELIER, Maurice; HASSOUN, Jacques (Ed.). Meurtre du père, sacrifice de la sexualité: approches anthropologiques et psychanalytiques. Paris: Arcanes. 1996., published as a result of a two-year seminar in Paris where psychoanalysts and anthropologists discussed in particular the texts of Freud that involved the analysis of culture.

Recourse to these historical reviews means leaving out many intermediate developments or developments that do not fit into the categories addressed. Among them, two movements that spanned the 1960s and 1970s were of particular importance. The first, known as “Freudian Marxism,” derived from the earlier utopian proposals of Wilhelm Reich, which, in the hands of Herbert Marcuse, had influences beyond academia and into the social imaginary, being confused for the libertarian counterculture uprisings. The second was “structural Marxism,” inspired by the structuralism of Lévi-Strauss, by the epistemological criticism of Bachelard, and represented principally by the thinking of the philosopher Louis Althusser. Psychoanalysis, or at least the form of psychoanalysis that it was believed would be reconstituted according to the new interpretations of Lacan, was crucially important in this sea of ideas, if we remember the general preeminence therein of the Freudian concept of “overdetermination.” Although both movements lasted a relatively short time, they had a strong influence on the imaginary in the late 1900s around Freud and psychoanalysis, drawing them closer to the core of sociological concerns. This proximity could not but also be a response to the growing cries for some kind of incorporation of the questions of “subjectivity,” “emotions,” and “desire” to analyses of social phenomena as more positivist formulations were eschewed. There was another interesting earlier focus of interlocution of philosophy and anthropology with psychoanalysis in interwar France, in the same environment influencedby surrealism from which Lacan emerged. But it was a short-lived movement that had no repercussions later on. Georges Bataille was a patient of Adrian Borel's, a founding member of the Psychoanalytic Society of Paris, around 1926. Story of the eye, from 1928, with clearly Freudian inspiration, is believed to have been conceived in this setting. Another of Borel's clients, from 1929 to 1931, was Michel Leiris, and it was he who apparently incentivized the heretic ethnologist to write the autobiographical notes that were turned into the book L'Age d'homme, published in 1939.

It should not be forgotten that throughout the events described here, philosophy was a fundamental channel of mediation between the social sciences and psychoanalysis, via different routes. Bachelard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Paul Ricoeur, and Jürgen Habermas, to mention a few, cropped up frequently with very different interpretations at a time that saw a renewed phenomenological and hermeneutic disposition in the ambit of world anthropology. Not to mention Foucault, as already mentioned, or Gilles Deleuze, who we will come to in due course.

One very peculiar way psychoanalysis has received the attention of and interplayed with the social sciences can be found explicitly in the work of Lévi-Strauss. The declaredly great importance of psychoanalysis to his thinking never resulted in a univocal systematization. There are scattered references in countless works depending on the controversial interests of the author at each moment. Sometimes, Lévi-Strauss sees it as one of many social phenomena and not as anallied or contending system of knowledge. This can be seen in “The sorcerer and his magic” and “The effectiveness of symbols,” in terms of the comparison between the therapeutic processes of psychoanalysis and shamanism (Lévi-Strauss, 1970LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. Antropologia estrutural. Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro. 1970.), and in The jealous potter, discussing the association between mythical and psychoanalytical thought (Lévi-Strauss, 1985LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. La potière jalouse. Paris: Plon. 1985.). This procedure was very new at the time of the first articles cited here (1949), and always sparked interest and debate in both fields. This was especially notable while it coexisted with favorable acceptations of the scientific stance of psychoanalysis, both in the 1949 articles and in the celebrated reference to hysteria in the opening of Totemism (Lévi-Strauss, 1969LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. Le totémisme aujourd'hui. Paris: PUF. 1969.), or in a well-known passage from Tristes tropiques, where, regarding the science of geology, he draws favorable parallels between the critical methodologies of Marxism and psychoanalysis (Lévi-Strauss, 1955LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. Tristes tropiques. Paris: Plon. 1955.) – a point picked up in Bastide's review. Yet it also coexisted with the detailed criticism of the recourse to “emotions” and “psychologism” in anthropological interpretations (a broader object, in which he included the Freud of cultural analyses; Lévi-Strauss, 1969LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. Le totémisme aujourd'hui. Paris: PUF. 1969.), and the demarcation of his concept of “unconscious” as opposed to Jung's in the “Introduction to Marcel Mauss” (Lévi-Strauss, 1973LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. Introduction à l'oeuvre de Marcel Mauss. In: Mauss, Marcel. Sociologie et anthropologie. Paris: PUF. p.VII-LII. 1973.).

Lévi-Strauss's multifaceted relationship with Freud's legacy could thus be considered both as one of the sources (in terms of the importance of his influence on anthropology in the second half of the twentieth century) and one of the manifestations of the prevailing way the social sciences viewed this area of knowledge between the 1960s and 1980s. A multiplicity of aspects and dimensions of psychoanalysis that reflect knowledge of the very multiplicity of social sciences, a greater awareness of its place in the whole continent of modern knowledge, in good part arising from its increasingly substantial history and the possibility of the exercise of criticism within many successive or concomitant levels of issues. The telescoping that Lévi-Strauss introduces in this sense to psychoanalysis cannot be distinguished from what came to be possible more generally within anthropology.

Several works that appraised psychoanalysis as a key element in the modern world soon became works of reference in the social sciences, with their versions coming to weigh on the set of diffuse representations of the practice, theory, history, and directions in psychoanalysis. The importance of Foucault's references in The order of things has already been mentioned. Two works from the same time deserve to be added: La psychanalyse, son image et son public, by the French sociologist Serge Moscovici (1978)MOSCOVICI, Serge. A representação social da psicanálise. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar. 1978., and “Towards a sociological understanding of psychoanalysis” by the Austrian-American sociologist Peter Berger (1980)BERGER, Peter L. Para uma compreensão sociológica da psicanálise. In: Figueira, Sérvulo A. Psicanálise e ciências sociais. Rio de Janeiro: Francisco Alves. p.11-26. 1980., which heralded – through very different perspectives and methods – what would come to constitute a systematic sociology or anthropology of the phenomenon of psychoanalysis. Robert Castel, also a French sociologist, having already written one article on the subject in 1969, produced a new milestone in this direction with his Le psychanalysme (Castel, 1978CASTEL, Robert. O psicanalismo. Rio de Janeiro: Graal. 1978.). In 1976, the appearance of the first volume of Foucault's (1977)FOUCAULT, Michel. História da sexualidade, v.1: a vontade de saber. Rio de Janeiro: Graal. 1977.The history of sexuality gave a new analytical boost to the possibilities of telescoping psychoanalysis by associating it viscerally to the development of the “device of sexuality”: “The history of the device of sexuality, as it has developed since the classical age, can serve as the archaeology of psychoanalysis” (p.122).

Historian Peter Gay's (1989)GAY, Peter. Freud: uma vida para o nosso tempo. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras. 1989. biography of Freud was another highpoint in this vast undertaking of observing the conditions of the production, spread, re-elaboration, and symbolization of the “psy” world, inseparable from psychoanalytical production in the strict sense, insofar as the institutionalized concepts and procedures were themselves brought into question. The fact that part of this contextualizing output started to come from psychoanalysis professionals tends to reinforce the impression of a de-consecration propitious for the interest and sympathy of social scientists. Even when the dimension of reverence or returning to the truth of the master is brought up, it is now justified epistemologically by observing and controlling the conditions within which this original and singular thinking occurred – and this is certainly welcome for an anthropology increasingly curious about its own emergence.

The possibility of this process is inseparable, in the case of the social sciences' view on psychoanalysis, from the fact that the social sciences see it as a part – and as a privileged or hegemonic part – of a universe that could simply be referred to as “psy” and which covers everything that could be recognized as related to psychiatry or psychology. No matter how these three (or not) fields of knowledge regulate their respective relationships, identities, and boundaries, there is – on “this side” – the representation that psychiatry sets itself alongside “biologism” or “medicalism” and psychology alongside “cognitivism” (in the best of hypotheses) or “behaviorism.” It was inevitable in such a context for a positive image to be built of psychoanalysis that was homologous to that which the dominant trends of late twentieth century anthropology took for themselves, precisely in their battle against “biologism” and “behaviorism.”

In 1976, two articles were published in Rio that proved seminal for the development of a local telescoping perspective on the burgeoning field of psychoanalysis. The first, by sociologist and psychoanalyst Sérvulo Figueira, covered the positions held by Lévi-Strauss and Peter Berger towards psychoanalysis and the conditions and characteristics of their therapeutic projects. His 1978 masters dissertation, on individualism and psychoanalysis, was intimately linked to the fundamental proposal of the other aforementioned article, published by anthropologist Gilberto Velho (1981)VELHO, Gilberto. Relações entre a antropologia e a psiquiatria. In: Velho, Gilberto (Ed.). Individualismo e cultura: notas para uma antropologia da sociedade contemporânea. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar. 1981., “Relações entre a antropologia e a psiquiatria” [Relations between anthropology and psychiatry]. This author proposed a new analytical threshold for these old, complicated “relationships” drawing on the theories of the anthropologist Louis Dumont (1985)DUMONT, Louis. O individualismo: uma perspectiva antropológica da ideologia moderna. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco. 1985. about the opposition between the holistic and individualistic roots of human experience. Both proposals were taken up in a common space of debate by Brazilian psychoanalysis and urban anthropology. Gilberto Velho revisited the subject many times, treating psychoanalysis as one of the symptoms of the process of modernization and individualization of Brazilian metropolitan middle classes. This stimulus resulted in a considerable body of analytical enterprises, including the work of Jane Russo and my own (both of whom were doctoral students of Gilberto Velho's). Russo (1993)RUSSO, Jane A. O corpo contra a palavra: as terapias corporais no campo psicológico dos anos 80. Rio de Janeiro: Editora UFRJ. 1993. began her work by analyzing the social configurations of the Reichian psychoanalysts in Rio de Janeiro and comparing them with those of other segments. For my part (Duarte, 1986DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Da vida nervosa (nas classes trabalhadoras urbanas). Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar. 1986.), I formulated a model of the person in the Brazilian lower classes that opposed the individualized model of the educated classes, which itself corresponded to an affinity with psychoanalysis. Together, we later ran a broad-based project mapping out the processes of “psychologization” in Brazil, covering psychiatry and psychology as well as psychoanalysis, in terms of their institutions, their leading figures, and their ideological configurations (cf. Duarte, Russo, Venancio, 2005DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Em busca do castelo interior: Roger Bastide e a psicologização no Brasil. In: Duarte, Luiz F.D.; Russo, Jane; Venancio, Ana Teresa (Ed.). Psicologização no Brasil: atores e autores. Rio de Janeiro: Contracapa. p.167-182. 2005.). This project set up interchanges beyond the borders of Brazil, especially with Argentina (and mostly with Mariano Plotkin), which has since borne fruit in comparative analyses of psy-related phenomena.

The proposal of telescopingby observing major cultural configurations of the modern-day West only draws on psychology insofar as it draws primarily on the social sciences themselves. The Freudian, psychoanalytical model of the person did, however, provide a clearer critical target, concerning the statute of the “subject” and the “individual,” sparking intense debate about whether these categories overlap or not. My discussion with Tania Salem on the subject of “subjective depossession,” implied in the notion of “person” from psychoanalysis (Salem, 1992SALEM, Tania. A “despossessão subjetiva”: dos paradoxos do individualismo. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais, v.18, n.7, p.62-77. 1992.; Duarte, 2003DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Sujeito, soberano, assujeitado: paradoxos da pessoa ocidental moderna. In: Arán, Marcia (Ed.). Soberanias. Rio de Janeiro: Contracapa. p.179-193. 2003.), picked up on the challenging proposals of the French sociologists Marcel Gauchet and Gladys Swain (1980)GAUCHET, Marcel; SWAIN, Gladys. La pratique de l'esprit humain: l'institution asilaire et la révolution démocratique. Paris: Gallimard. 1980. in an important work for the discussions covered here. There can be no doubt that in this sense, psychoanalysis provided some crucial questions for anthropology, whose clarification within its own field requires painstaking analysis and criticism.

Whether the telescoping is Foucaultian or Dumontian, what stands out is the perception of a subordination of both fields to a higher order of meaning, a grand configuration of modern knowledge, however imprecise or controversial its definition and appropriation may be. Repeated references to the inevitability of their interplay or their mutual observation and frequencyonly bring to the fore symptomatically this common ground.

I myself have worked in this register, underlining that the genetic affiliations of anthropology and psychoanalysis to the tradition of romantic philosophy are clearer than are those of the other humanities. I examined the peculiarities of the career of Roger Bastide and his position in the field of Brazilian anthropology (Duarte, 2005DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Em busca do castelo interior: Roger Bastide e a psicologização no Brasil. In: Duarte, Luiz F.D.; Russo, Jane; Venancio, Ana Teresa (Ed.). Psicologização no Brasil: atores e autores. Rio de Janeiro: Contracapa. p.167-182. 2005.) by arguing that the anti-Durkheimian tendency he absorbed in his France of origin and his very early interest in the history of Western mysticism had led him to develop this sensibility to the inseparability of subject and object and the experiential wholeness of human phenomena, which made him bring together sociology and psychoanalysis. These origins clearly set him apart from earlier Brazilian psychiatrists and social scientists who had engaged with psychoanalysis, like the anthropologist Arthur Ramos, and made him at the same time sensitive to the understanding of what he called the “inner castle” of subjects from the Afro-Brazilian world (Duarte, 2000DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Anthropologie, psychanalyse et “civilisation” du Brésil dans l'entre-deux-guerres. Revue de Synthèse: Anthropologies, États et Populations, n.3-4, p.325-344. 2000.).

Elsewhere (Duarte, 2013DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Antropología y psicoanálisis: retos de las ciencias románticas en el siglo XXI. Revista Culturas Psi/PsyCultures, v.1, n.2, p.45-66. Disponível em: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/896179_fe3e55e9163f4040ab9449ed30b06486.pdf. 2013.
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), I have developed this hypothesis of a shared “romantic” affiliation of the two disciplines more systematically in order better to understand what underpins this history of mutual fascination. For this purpose I used a lengthy bibliography that examines the romantic roots of important dimensions of Freudian thinking (cf. Kirschner, 1996KIRSCHNER, Suzanne R. The religious and romantic origins of psychoanalysis: individuations and integrations in post-Freudian theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1996.; Lo Bianco, 1998LO BIANCO, Ana Carolina. A Bildung alemã e a cultura em Freud. In: Kishida, Clara et al. (Ed.). Cultura da ilusão: textos apresentados no IV Fórum Brasileiro de Psicanálise, setembro de 1997. Rio de Janeiro: Contracapa. 1998.; Sandler, 2000SANDLER, Paulo Cesar. Os primórdios do movimento romântico e a psicanálise. Rio de Janeiro: Imago. 2000.; Andrade, 2001ANDRADE, Ricardo. A face noturna do pensamento freudiano: Freud e o romantismo alemão. Niterói: Eduff. 2001.; Loureiro, 2002LOUREIRO, Ines. O carvalho e o pinheiro: Freud e o estilo romântico. São Paulo: Escuta; Fapesp. 2002.) and another set of works that undertake a similar analysis in the history of anthropology (Mitzman, 1966MITZMAN, Arthur. Anti-progress: a study in the romantic roots of German sociology. Social Research, v.33, n.1, p.65-85. 1966.; Gusdorf, 1974GUSDORF, Georges. Introduction aux sciences humaines: essai critique sur leurs origines et leur développement. Paris: Ophrys. 1974.; Shweder, 1984SHWEDER, Richard. Anthropology's romantic rebellion against the enlightenment, or there's more to thinking than reason and evidence. In: Shweder, Richard; Levine, Robert (Ed.). Culture theory: essays on mind, self and emotion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1984.; Kuper, 1999KUPER, Adam. Culture: the anthropologists' account. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press. 1999.).

A good example of this confluence is the work developed by French historian and sociologist Jacques Maître on the fate of mysticism in biographies of different female character types from the nineteenth century – a fascinating realization of the possibilities of a simultaneously sociological and psychological analysis of subjectivization, the construction of the subject, in this case, stressing the trans-generational dimension that so interests the anthropology of the family and the person (cf. Maître, 1996MAÎTRE, Jacques. L'Orpheline de la Bérésina: Thérèse de Lisieux (1873-1897): essai de psychanalyse sociohistorique. Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf. 1996.). He proposed a “socio-historical psychoanalysis,” which won systematic praise from the acclaimed French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, as well as psychoanalysts from his country, like the aforementioned Michèle Bertrand and Ginette Raimbault, who wrote an introductory dialogue to the work on Saint Therese of Lisieux. In his more theoretical contributions, Maître (1996MAÎTRE, Jacques. L'Orpheline de la Bérésina: Thérèse de Lisieux (1873-1897): essai de psychanalyse sociohistorique. Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf. 1996., p.42-43) stressed the importance of many common points between the social and psychological sciences. He also went into the importance of “free-floating attention,” whose epistemological features he saw as being inseparable from “free association”. The researcher's subjective implication in the course of his scientific work was clearly discussed from a more strictly psychological perspective than happens between anthropologists (although in a tone that sometimes brings to mind Georges Devereux and his idea of “complementarity”).

Nowadays, the social sciences are turning their sights to some extent to contemporary developments in psychoanalysis, which is in a way picking up the importance of the phylogenetic dimension in ontogeny for Freud, without the outdated evolutionary overtones that disturbed the appropriation of his major works on culture, based on the hypothesis of the primal parricide of Totem and taboo. It is a matter of what has been called “transgenerational psychoanalysis,” a current set up in dialogue with systemic therapies and which bears the French hallmarks of engagement with psychosis and autism, arising from the marked presence of psychotherapy in French public services.

Transgenerational psychoanalysis concerns itself with long-lasting psychic processes that transcend ontogenetic evolution and link up to the continuous series of lives of predecessors in unconscious symbolic work that is yet recognizable for its symptomatology and clinical evidence (cf. Abraham, 1987ABRAHAM, Nicholas. L'écorce et le noyau. Paris: Flammarion. 1987.; Kaës et al., 2001KAËS, René et al. (Ed.). Transmission de la vie psychique entre générations: inconscient et culture. Paris: Dunod. 2001.). There are some threads that link this school to the contemporary French sociology of the family (cf. Singly, 2001SINGLY, François de (Ed.). Être soi parmi les autres: famille et individualisation. Paris: L'Harmattan. 2001.).

In a register equally devoted to the interrelations between sociology of the modern Western person and psychoanalysis, it is worth calling on French sociologist Vincent de Gaulejac (1987)GAULEJAC, Vincent de. La névrose de classe: trajectoire sociale et conflits d'identité. Paris: Hommes et Groupes Editeurs. 1987., author of La névrose de classe and founder of the Institut International de Sociologie Clinique, an international circle whose members include the French psychologist Jean-Michel Fourcade and the Brazilian psychoanalyst Teresa Carreteiro.

Another branch of great importance and historical profundity in the attempts to integrate social and psychological perspectives is the field that was first called “ethnopsychiatry” and went on to be referred to by many other names (psychological anthropology, psychoanalytical anthropology, ethnopsychoanalysis, psycho-history etc.). It began very early on, as already mentioned, on the initiative of the Hungarian psychoanalyst Geza Roheim, taking incentive from Freud's own work in his analyses of collective phenomena – whether historical or contemporary. In fact, it constitutes a large network of paths and currents with a shared focus on dealing with non-Western societies, in which it stands out, especially in the French tradition, as an “ethnology” within the broader ambit of anthropology.

In this sense, a first generation of cabinet-based analyses can be included here, including Freud himself (in his analyses of ethnological data from his time), Roheim, Ferenczi, and the Englishman John Flügel. After them came the 1930s generation, where fieldwork joined forces with the practice of psychoanalysis, such as the influential Georges Devereux, the American anthropologist Weston La Barre, and the German-American psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, author of a well-known interpretation of the young Luther. This category and generation sometimes also includes the German philosopher and psychoanalyst Erich Fromm and the German-American psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim, in view of their influential cultural interpretations.

This list could also encompass the school of culture and personality developed in the USA, whose first generation was formed of Franz Boas's disciples and interlocutors: the anthropologists Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict and the anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir. The key figures of the second generation, associated with the development of the concepts of “basic personality” and “modal personality,” are the anthropologists Ralph Linton, Cora Du Bois, John Whiting, and Abram Kardiner. The school is responsible for an important development that is often described as the study of “national character,” spurred by the US war effort during the Second World War. Alongside Ruth Benedict, this group includes Clyde Kluckhohn, Francis Hsu, Geoffrey Gorer, and Alex Inkeles. The contemporary generation comprises such prestigious names as Melford Spiro, Robert Levine, Robert Edgerton, Robert Levy, Robert A. Paul, Vincent Crapanzano, and Waud Kracke (who undertook ethnological research in Brazil; cf. Kracke, 2002KRACKE, Waud H. Psychoanalysis and anthropology. In: Ember, Carol R.; Ember, Melvin (Ed.). The encyclopedia of medical anthropology. New York: Kluwer. p.58-69. 2002.; Kracke, Vilela, 2004KRACKE, Waud H.; VILLELA, Lucia. Between desire and culture: conversations between psychoanalysis and anthropology. In: Molino, Anthony N. (Ed.). Culture, subject, psyche: dialogues in psychoanalysis and anthropology. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press. p.175-209. 2004.).

Today, there is the Society for Psychological Anthropology, founded in 1973, which publishes the journal Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology and a book series entitled Culture, mind, and society.” Gananath Obeyesekere (1990)OBEYESEKERE, Gananath. The work of culture: symbolic transformation in psychoanalysis and anthropology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1990., a leading US-based contemporary anthropologist originally from Ceylon, regards himself as being strongly influenced by Freud's ideas, although hiswork is not normally classified under the label of ethnopsychology or ethnopsychoanalysis.

In France, two important names are the psychoanalyst and Africanist Charles-Henri Pradelles de la Tour and the Franco-Egyptian psychiatrist Tobie Nathan, who worked with Georges Devereux (both founders of the first French journal on ethnopsychiatry, Etnopsychiatrica, in 1978, followed by La Nouvelle Revue d'Ethnopsychiatrie, and, finally, Ethnopsy/Les Mondes Contemporains de la Guérison, since 2000). Nathan runs the Centre Georges Devereux, which he founded in 1993, providing assistance for migrant families, especially from Africa.

In a very different direction, a field of interplay was formed in Argentina (cf. Duarte, 2002DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. A psicanálise como linguagem social: o caso argentino. Mana: Estudos de Antropologia Social, v.8, n.2, p.183-194. 2002.), where there was an extremely intense diffusion of psychoanalysis, which is so well known today thanks to the extensive work of Mariano Plotkin (2001)PLOTKIN, Mariano Ben. Freud in the Pampas: the emergence and development of a psychoanalytic culture in Argentina. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2001.. It is interesting that the information about the interface with the social sciences is to be found mostly in the chapter on “When Marx meets Freud” in his main book, revealing the intensity of the political turmoil at the time in that country. Plotkin (2001PLOTKIN, Mariano Ben. Freud in the Pampas: the emergence and development of a psychoanalytic culture in Argentina. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2001., p.175) makes mention of earlier periods when the social sciences in Argentina were open to dialogue with psychoanalysis in the works of Pichón Rivière and Gino Germani, but goes into greater detail on three key figures: José Bleger, León Rozitchner, and Oscar Masotta. He sketches out the general circumstances of the interchange between these authors and the Germanic Freudian left-wing and the American New Left, as well as the specific influences of the Franco-Hungarian philosopher Georges Politzer on Bleger, and of Sartre and Lévi-Strauss on Masotta. Masotta was responsible for introducing the ideas of Jacques Lacan to Argentina (and possibly to the whole Spanish speaking world) through a seminal article published in 1965 in Buenos Aires. Plotkin (2001PLOTKIN, Mariano Ben. Freud in the Pampas: the emergence and development of a psychoanalytic culture in Argentina. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2001., p.189) also refers to the influence of Marxist structuralism on the field of social thought in Argentina through Louis Althusser. It is a dynamic of interchange that differs considerably from that in Brazil, since in Argentina a certain expectation of the direct cross-fertilization of aspects of psychoanalysis to the interpretation and practice of political life has prevailed.

Capitalisme et schizophrénie, 1: L'Anti-Oedipe [Anti-Oedipus: capitalism and schizophrenia], by the philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the psychiatrist and philosopher François Guattari was published in 1972. Quick to receive effusive reviews, the work presented a cutting criticism of psychoanalysis as a key ally of modern configurations of social control and as a discourse with a commitment to Enlightenment universalization. It thus presented, with much ado and ahead of its time, a challenge that is still at large in the humanities: an amalgam of radical empiricism and romantic philosophy (with emphasis on “singularity,” “intensity,” and the potency of “experience” and “life”) associated with “deconstructionism” and what could be called post-modernism, post-structuralism, or post-social thinking. It thus reignited mistrust towards the psychoanalysis of the Freudian (and even Lacanian) tradition after the alliances of counterculture with “left-wing Freudians,” leading to a discouragement of its interaction with anthropology, for instance. Once more, however, this attitude towards psychoanalytical knowledge was only manifested because it expressed a movement within the social sciences themselves, which is strengthening the romantic dispositions that have always driven them in new directions.

This and many other contemporary ideological movements could be regarded as “post-psychoanalytical” in the sense that even while attacking it, they presuppose psychoanalysis as a Weltanschauung that is deeply rooted in the consciousness of modern Western culture (cf. Russo, 2001RUSSO, Jane A. A pós-psicanálise: entre prozac e florais de Bach. In: Jacó-Vilela, Ana M.; Cerezzo, Antonio C.; Rodrigues, Heliana B.C. (Ed.). Clio-Psyche hoje: fazeres e dizeres psi na história do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Relume-Dumará. 2001.).

In this almost hundred years of interlocution between the social sciences and the legacy of Freud's work, a dense web of dialogues has been woven – sometimes rather deaf, but always very eloquent – which are themselves, at this point in time, a multifaceted, precious collection of contributions to the undertaking of questioning the meaning of human experience. It is this that makes all these areas of knowledge “human sciences” – sciences that our pioneering predecessors in nineteenth century Germany very aptly called “sciences of the spirit” (Geisteswissenschaften). A common “spirit” of unease, rectification, critique, and contestation, as Foucault commented in the middle of this long journey.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Text presented at the international seminar “Culturas psi: a circulação transnacional de saberes e práticas psi” [Psy Cultures: The transnational circulation of psy knowledge and practices] held in Rio de Janeiro on September 12, 2013. It expands on the core ideas from an older analysis (Duarte, 1989DUARTE, Luiz Fernando Dias. Freud e a imaginação sociológica moderna. In: Birman, Joel (Ed.). Freud: 50 anos depois. Rio de Janeiro: Relume-Dumará. p.199-218. 1989.) and incorporates some suggestions that arose during the discussion at the seminar – especially the complementary bibliography suggested by Lucia Valladares de Oliveira, for which I thank her.

  • 1
    In this and other citations of texts from non-English languages, a free translation has been provided.
  • Translated by Rebecca Atkinson.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Nov 2017

History

  • Received
    Sept 2016
  • Accepted
    Dec 2016
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