In Freud and Culture, we explore the representations of society and culture that Freud developed in the course of his work and we shall distinguish two periods. Distinct from contemporary sociological and anthropological conceptions, they led to his construction of a personal socio-anthropology that was virulently criticised by the social sciences. But what exactly is meant here by “culture” and “society”? Do we mean Freud’s own Viennese society or Western “civilised” society in general? In addition, Freud was interested in historical and “primitive” societies from the evolutionist perspective of the British anthropologists of his time. Our work considers the interrelationship between these different societies and cultures, and raises many questions. What constitutes a culture? What are its essential traits, its functions, its relationships with society, for example. Moreover, we present the Freudian central notion of Kulturarbeit, which is constructed from a strictly Freudian perspective.
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