Oedipus complex

The Oedipus complex (also spelled Œdipus complex) is a concept of psychoanalytic theory. Sigmund Freud introduced the concept in his Interpretation of Dreams (1899) and coined the expression in his A Special Type of Choice of Object made by Men (1910).[1][2] The positive Oedipus complex refers to a child's unconscious sexual desire for the opposite-sex parent and hatred for the same-sex parent. The negative Oedipus complex refers to a child's unconscious sexual desire for the same-sex parent and hatred for the opposite-sex parent.[2][3][4] Freud considered that the child's identification with the same-sex parent is the successful outcome of the complex and that unsuccessful outcome of the complex might lead to neurosis, pedophilia, and homosexuality.

Freud rejected the term "Electra complex"[5], which was introduced by Carl Gustav Jung in 1913 in his work, Theory of Psychoanalysis[6] in regard to the Oedipus complex manifested in young girls.[5] Freud further proposed that the Oedipus complex, which originally refers to the sexual desire of a son for his mother, is a desire for the parent in both males and females, and that boys and girls experience the complex differently: boys in a form of castration anxiety, girls in a form of penis envy.[7]

IngresOdipusAndSphinx
Oedipus describes the riddle of the Sphinx, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, (ca. 1805).

Background

AmaliaFreud
The psychologist Sigmund Freud (at age 16) with his mother in 1872.[8]

Oedipus refers to a 5th-century BC Greek mythological character Oedipus, who unwittingly kills his father, Laius, and marries his mother, Jocasta. A play based on the myth, Oedipus Rex, was written by Sophocles, ca. 429 BC.

Modern productions of Sophocles' play were staged in Paris and Vienna in the 19th century and were phenomenally successful in the 1880s and 1890s. The Austrian psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), attended. In his book The Interpretation of Dreams first published in 1899, he proposed that an Oedipal desire is a universal, psychological phenomenon innate (phylogenetic) to human beings, and the cause of much unconscious guilt. Freud believed that the Oedipal sentiment has been inherited through the millions of years it took for humans to evolve from apes.[9] He based this on his analysis of his feelings attending the play, his anecdotal observations of neurotic or normal children, and on the fact that Oedipus Rex was effective on both ancient and modern audiences. (He also claimed that the play Hamlet "has its roots in the same soil as Oedipus Rex", and that the differences between the two plays are revealing. "In [Oedipus Rex] the child’s wishful fantasy that underlies it is brought into the open and realized as it would be in a dream. In Hamlet it remains repressed; and—just as in the case of a neurosis—we only learn of its existence from its inhibiting consequences.")[10][11]

However, in The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud makes it clear that the "primordial urges and fears" that are his concern and the basis of the Oedipal complex are inherent in the myths the play by Sophocles is based on, not primarily in the play itself, which Freud refers to as a "further modification of the legend" that originates in a "misconceived secondary revision of the material, which has sought to exploit it for theological purposes".[12][13][14]

Freud described the character Oedipus:

A six-stage chronology of Sigmund Freud's theoretic evolution of the Oedipus complex is:

  • Stage 1. 1897–1909. After his father's death in 1896, and having seen the play Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, Freud begins using the term "Oedipus". As Freud wrote in an 1897 letter, "I found in myself a constant love for my mother, and jealousy of my father. I now consider this to be a universal event in early childhood.
  • Stage 2. 1909–1914. Proposes that Oedipal desire is the "nuclear complex" of all neuroses; first usage of "Oedipus complex" in 1910.
  • Stage 3. 1914–1918. Considers paternal and maternal incest.
  • Stage 4. 1919–1926. Complete Oedipus complex; identification and bisexuality are conceptually evident in later works.
  • Stage 5. 1926–1931. Applies the Oedipal theory to religion and custom.
  • Stage 6. 1931–1938. Investigates the "feminine Oedipus attitude" and "negative Oedipus complex"; later the "Electra complex".[16]

The Oedipus complex

Oedipus and the Sphinx MET DP-14201-023
Oedipus and the Sphinx, by Gustave Moreau (1864)

In classical psychoanalytic theory, the Oedipus complex occurs during the phallic stage of psychosexual development (age 3–6 years), when also occurs the formation of the libido and the ego; yet it might manifest itself at an earlier age.[17][18]

In the phallic stage, a boy's decisive psychosexual experience is the Oedipus complex—his son–father competition for possession of mother. It is in this third stage of psychosexual development that the child's genitalia is his or her primary erogenous zone; thus, when children become aware of their bodies, the bodies of other children, and the bodies of their parents, they gratify physical curiosity by undressing and exploring themselves, each other, and their genitals, so learning the anatomic differences between "male" and "female" and the gender differences between "boy" and "girl".

Psychosexual infantilism—Despite mother being the parent who primarily gratifies the child's desires, the child begins forming a discrete sexual identity—"boy", "girl"—that alters the dynamics of the parent and child relationship; the parents become objects of infantile libidinal energy. The boy directs his libido (sexual desire) upon his mother and directs jealousy and emotional rivalry against his father—because it is he who sleeps with his mother. Moreover, to facilitate union with mother, the boy's id wants to kill father (as did Oedipus), but the pragmatic ego, based upon the reality principle, knows that the father is the stronger of the two males competing to possess the one female. Nonetheless, the boy remains ambivalent about his father's place in the family, which is manifested as fear of castration by the physically greater father; the fear is an irrational, subconscious manifestation of the infantile id.[19]

Psycho-logic defense—In both sexes, defense mechanisms provide transitory resolutions of the conflict between the drives of the id and the drives of the ego. The first defense mechanism is repression, the blocking of memories, emotional impulses, and ideas from the conscious mind; yet its action does not resolve the id–ego conflict. The second defense mechanism is identification, in which the boy or girl child adapts by incorporating, to his or her (super)ego, the personality characteristics of the same-sex parent. As a result of this, the boy diminishes his castration anxiety, because his likeness to father protects him from father's wrath in their maternal rivalry. In the case of the girl, this facilitates identifying with mother, who understands that, in being females, neither of them possesses a penis, and thus are not antagonists.[20]

Dénouement—Unresolved son–father competition for the psycho-sexual possession of the mother might result in a phallic stage fixation that leads to the boy becoming an aggressive, over-ambitious, and vain man. Therefore, the satisfactory parental handling and resolution of the Oedipus complex are most important in developing the male infantile super-ego. This is because, by identifying with a parent, the boy internalizes Morality; thereby, he chooses to comply with societal rules, rather than reflexively complying in fear of punishment.

Oedipal case study

1869 Frederic Leighton - Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon
Female Oedipus attitude: Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon, by Frederic Leighton, (c.1869).

In Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy (1909), the case study of the equinophobic boy "Little Hans", Freud showed that the relation between Hans's fears—of horses and of his father—derived from external factors, the birth of a sister, and internal factors, the desire of the infantile id to replace father as companion to mother, and guilt for enjoying the masturbation normal to a boy of his age. Moreover, his admitting to wanting to procreate with mother was considered proof of the boy's sexual attraction to the opposite-sex parent; he was a heterosexual male. Yet, the boy Hans was unable to relate fearing horses to fearing his father. As the treating psychoanalyst, Freud noted that "Hans had to be told many things that he could not say himself" and that "he had to be presented with thoughts, which he had, so far, shown no signs of possessing".[21]

Feminine Oedipus attitude

Initially, Freud equally applied the Oedipus complex to the psychosexual development of boys and girls, but later modified the female aspects of the theory as "feminine Oedipus attitude" and "negative Oedipus complex";[22] yet, it was his student–collaborator Carl Jung, who, in his 1913 work, "Theory of Psychoanalysis", proposed the Electra complex to describe a girl's daughter–mother competition for psychosexual possession of the father.[6][23]

In the phallic stage, a girl's Electra complex is her decisive psychodynamic experience in forming a discrete sexual identity (ego). Whereas a boy develops castration anxiety, a girl develops penis envy, for she perceives that she has been castrated previously (and missing the penis), and so forms resentment towards her own kind as inferior, while simultaneously striving to claim her father's penis through bearing a male child of her own. Furthermore, after the phallic stage, the girl's psychosexual development includes transferring her primary erogenous zone from the infantile clitoris to the adult vagina.[24]

Freud thus considered a girl's negative Oedipus complex to be more emotionally intense than that of a boy, resulting, potentially, in a woman of submissive, insecure personality;[25] thus might an unresolved Electra complex, daughter–mother competition for psychosexual possession of father, lead to a phallic-stage fixation conducive to a girl becoming a woman who continually strives to dominate men (viz. penis envy), either as an unusually seductive woman (high self-esteem) or as an unusually submissive woman (low self-esteem). Therefore, the satisfactory parental handling and resolution of the Electra complex are most important in developing the female infantile super-ego, because, by identifying with a parent, the girl internalizes morality; thereby, she chooses to comply with societal rules, rather than reflexively complying in fear of punishment.

In regard to narcissism

In regard to narcissism, the Oedipus complex is viewed as the pinnacle of the individual's maturational striving for success or for love.[26] In The Economic Problem of Masochism (1924), Freud writes that in "the Oedipus complex... [the parent's] personal significance for the superego recedes into the background' and 'the imagos they leave behind... link [to] the influences of teachers and authorities...". Educators and mentors are put in the ego ideal of the individual and they strive to take on their knowledge, skills, or insights.

In Some Reflections on Schoolboy Psychology (1914), Freud writes:

"We can now understand our relation to our schoolmasters. These men, not all of whom were in fact fathers themselves, became our substitute fathers. That was why, even though they were still quite young, they struck us as so mature and so unattainably adult. We transferred on to them the respect and expectations attaching to the omniscient father of our childhood, and we then began to treat them as we treated our fathers at home. We confronted them with the ambivalence that we had acquired in our own families and with its help, we struggled with them as we had been in the habit of struggling with our fathers..."

The Oedipus complex, in narcissistic terms, represents that an individual can lose the ability to take a parental-substitute into his ego ideal without ambivalence. Once the individual has ambivalent relations with parental-substitutes, he will enter into the triangulating castration complex. In the castration complex the individual becomes rivalrous with parental-substitutes and this will be the point of regression. In Psycho-analytic notes on an autobiographical account of a case of paranoia (Dementia paranoides) (1911), Freud writes that "disappointment over a woman" (object drives) or "a mishap in social relations with other men" (ego drives) is the cause of regression or symptom formation. Triangulation can take place with a romantic rival, for a woman, or with a work rival, for the reputation of being more potent.[27]

Freudian theoretic revision

When Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) proposed that the Oedipus complex was psychologically universal, he provoked the evolution of Freudian psychology and the psychoanalytic treatment method, by collaborators and competitors alike.

Carl Gustav Jung

Electra and Orestes - Project Gutenberg eText 14994
The Electra complex: the matricides Electra and Orestes.

In countering Freud's proposal that the psychosexual development of boys and girls is equal, i.e. equally oriented – that each initially experiences sexual desire (libido) for mother, and aggression towards father, student–collaborator Carl Jung counter-proposed that girls experienced desire for father and aggression towards mother via the Electra complex—derived from the 5th-century BC Greek mythologic character Electra, who plotted matricidal revenge with Orestes, her brother, against Clytemnestra, their mother, and Aegisthus, their stepfather, for their murder of Agamemnon, her father (cf. Electra, by Sophocles).[28][29][30] Moreover, because it is native to Freudian psychology, orthodox Jungian psychology uses the term "Oedipus complex" only to denote a boy's psychosexual development.

Otto Rank

Freud and other psychoanalysts 1922
Otto Rank behind Sigmund Freud, and other psychoanalysts (1922).

In classical Freudian psychology the super-ego, "the heir to the Oedipus complex", is formed as the infant boy internalizes the familial rules of his father. In contrast, in the early 1920s, using the term "pre-Oedipal", Otto Rank proposed that a boy's powerful mother was the source of the super-ego, in the course of normal psychosexual development. Rank's theoretic conflict with Freud excluded him from the Freudian inner circle; nonetheless, he later developed the psychodynamic Object relations theory in 1925.

Melanie Klein

Whereas Freud proposed that father (the paternal phallus) was central to infantile and adult psychosexual development, Melanie Klein concentrated upon the early maternal relationship, proposing that Oedipal manifestations are perceptible in the first year of life, the oral stage. Her proposal was part of the "controversial discussions" (1942–44) at the British Psychoanalytical Association. The Kleinian psychologists proposed that "underlying the Oedipus complex, as Freud described it ... there is an earlier layer of more primitive relationships with the Oedipal couple".[31] She assigned “dangerous destructive tendencies not just to the father but also to the mother in her discussion of the child’s projective fantasies”.[32] Moreover, Klein's work lessened the central role of the Oedipus complex, with the concept of the depressive position.[33][34]

Wilfred Bion

"For the post–Kleinian Bion, the myth of Oedipus concerns investigatory curiosity—the quest for knowledge—rather than sexual difference; the other main character in the Oedipal drama becomes Tiresias (the false hypothesis erected against anxiety about a new theory)".[35] Resultantly, "Bion regarded the central crime of Oedipus as his insistence on knowing the truth at all costs".[36]

Jacques Lacan

From the postmodern perspective, Jacques Lacan argued against removing the Oedipus complex from the center of psychosexual developmental experience. He considered "the Oedipus complex—in so far as we continue to recognize it as covering the whole field of our experience with its signification ... [that] superimposes the kingdom of culture" upon the person, marking his or her introduction to symbolic order.[37]

Thus "a child learns what power independent of itself is as it goes through the Oedipus complex ... encountering the existence of a symbolic system independent of itself".[38] Moreover, Lacan's proposal that "the ternary relation of the Oedipus complex" liberates the "prisoner of the dual relationship" of the son–mother relationship proved useful to later psychoanalysts;[39] thus, for Bollas, the "achievement" of the Oedipus complex is that the "child comes to understand something about the oddity of possessing one's own mind ... discovers the multiplicity of points of view".[40] Likewise, for Ronald Britton, "if the link between the parents perceived in love and hate can be tolerated in the child's mind ... this provides us with a capacity for seeing us in interaction with others, and ... for reflecting on ourselves, whilst being ourselves".[41] As such, in The Dove that Returns, the Dove that Vanishes (2000), Michael Parsons proposed that such a perspective permits viewing "the Oedipus complex as a life-long developmental challenge ... [with] new kinds of Oedipal configurations that belong to later life".[42]

In 1920, Sigmund Freud wrote that "with the progress of psychoanalytic studies the importance of the Oedipus complex has become, more and more, clearly evident; its recognition has become the shibboleth that distinguishes the adherents of psychoanalysis from its opponents";[43] thereby it remained a theoretic cornerstone of psychoanalysis until about 1930, when psychoanalysts began investigating the pre-Oedipal son–mother relationship within the theory of psychosexual development.[44][45] Janet Malcolm reports that by the late 20th century, to the object relations psychology "avant-garde, the events of the Oedipal period are pallid and inconsequential, in comparison with the cliff-hanging psychodramas of infancy. ... For Kohut, as for Winnicott and Balint, the Oedipus complex is an irrelevance in the treatment of severe pathology".[46] Nonetheless, ego psychology continued to maintain that "the Oedipal period—roughly three-and-a-half to six years—is like Lorenz standing in front of the chick, it is the most formative, significant, moulding experience of human life ... If you take a person's adult life—his love, his work, his hobbies, his ambitions—they all point back to the Oedipus complex".[47]

Criticism

According to Armand Chatard, Freudian representation of the Oedipus complex is little or not at all supported by empirical data (he relies on Kagan, 1964, Bussey and Bandura, 1999).[48]

Postmodern criticism

I love my 2 gay dad's
The Oedipus Complex has been criticized for disregarding nontraditional family structures such as those families with parents of the same sex like the one depicted.

In recent years, more countries have come in support of same-sex marriage, with the number expected to increase. As of December 2017, the countries that have legalized gay marriage stands at 29, including the majority of European nations and the Americas.[49] Scientific and technological advancements have allowed gay couples to start families through adoption or surrogacy. As a result the pillars of the family structure are diversifying to include parents who are single or of the same sex as their partner along with the traditional heterosexual, married parents. These new family structures pose new questions for the psychoanalytic theories such as the Oedipus complex that require the presence of the mother and the father in the successful development of a child.[32] However as evidence suggest, children who have been raised by parents of the same sex have shown no difference when compared to children raised in a traditional family structure.[32] The classic theory of the oedipal drama has fallen out of favor in today’s society, according to a study by Drescher, having been criticized for its “negative implications” towards same sex parents.[32] It is necessary for the psychoanalytic theory to change to keep up with the times and remain relevant. Many psychoanalytic thinkers such as Chodorow and Corbett are working towards changing the Oedipus complex to eliminate “automatic associations among sex, gender, and the stereotypical psychological functions deriving from these categories” and make it applicable to today’s modern society.[32]

From its Freudian conception, psychoanalysis and its theories have always relied on traditional gender roles to draw itself out. In the 1950s psychologists distinguished different roles in parenting for the mother and father. The role of primary caregiver is assigned to the mother. Motherly love was considered to be unconditional. While the father is assigned the role of secondary caregiver, fatherly love is conditional, responsive to the child’s tangible achievements.[32] Recent studies suggest, however, that the notions of male and female gender parenting roles and attributes are a result of culture and continuous practice in psychoanalysis with no biological basis. The Oedipus complex is compromised in the context of modern family structures, as it requires the existence of the notions of masculinity and femininity.[50] When there is no father present there is no reason for a boy to have castration anxiety and thus resolve the complex.[32] Psychoanalysis presents relationships outside the heteronormativity (e.g. homosexuality) as a negative implication, a sort of perversion or fetish rather than a natural occurrence.[50] To some psychologists, this emphasis on gender norms can be a distraction in treating homosexual patients.[50] According to Didier Eribon, the book Anti-Oedipus (1972) by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari is "a critique of psychoanalytic normativity and Oedipus ..." and "... a setting oedipinianisme devastating issue of ... ".[51] Eribon considers the Oedipus complex of Freudian or Lacanian psychoanalysis is an "implausible ideological construct" which is an "inferiorization process of homosexuality".[52] According to psychologist Geva Shenkman, “To examine the application of concepts such as Oedipus complex and primal scene to male same-sex families, we must first eliminate the automatic associations among sex, gender, and the stereotypical psychological functions based on these categories.”[32]

Postmodern psychoanalytic theories are not meant to rid or discredit the foundation of psychoanalysis, but rather aim to reestablish psychoanalysis for modern times. In the case of newer family structures that refute the traditional Oedipus complex, it may mean modifying or discarding the complex completely. Shenkman suggests that a loose interpretation of the Oedipus complex in which the child seeks sexual satisfaction from any parent regardless of gender or sex, would be helpful: “From this perspective, any parental authority, or institution for that matter, may represent the taboo that gives rise to the complex”. Psychoanalyst Melanie Kline, proposed a theory which broke gender stereotypes, but still kept traditional father-mother family structure. Melanie Kline assigned “dangerous destructive tendencies not just to the father but also to the mother in her discussion of the child’s projective fantasies”.[32]

Moreover, from the post-modern perspective, Grose contends that "the Oedipus complex isn't really like that. It's more a way of explaining how human beings are socialised ... learning to deal with disappointment".[53] The elementary understanding being that "You have to stop trying to be everything for your primary carer, and get on with being something for the rest of the world".[54] Nonetheless, the open question remains whether or not such a post-Lacanian interpretation "stretches the Oedipus complex to a point where it almost doesn't look like Freud's any more".[52]

Sociocultural criticism

Parent-child and sibling-sibling incestuous unions are almost universally forbidden.[55] An explanation for this incest taboo is that rather than instinctual sexual desire, there is instinctual sexual aversion against these unions (See Westermarck effect). Steven Pinker wrote that "The idea that boys want to sleep with their mothers strikes most men as the silliest thing they have ever heard. Obviously, it did not seem so to Freud, who wrote that as a boy he once had an erotic reaction to watching his mother dressing. Of note is that Amalia Nathansohn Freud was relatively young during Freud's childhood and thus of reproductive age, and Freud having a wet-nurse, may not have experienced the early intimacy that would have tipped off his perceptual system that Mrs. Freud was his mother."[56]

Some contemporary psychoanalysts agree with the idea of the Oedipus complex to varying degrees; Hans Keller proposed it is so "at least in Western societies";[57] and others consider that ethnologists already have established its temporal and geographic universality.[58] Nonetheless, few psychoanalysts disagree that the "child then entered an Oedipal phase ... [which] involved an acute awareness of a complicated triangle involving mother, father, and child" and that "both positive and negative Oedipal themes are typically observable in development".[59] Despite evidence of parent–child conflict, the evolutionary psychologists Martin Daly and Margo Wilson note that it is not for sexual possession of the opposite sex-parent; thus, in Homicide (1988), they proposed that the Oedipus complex yields few testable predictions, because they found no evidence of the Oedipus complex in people.[60]

In No More Silly Love Songs: A Realist's Guide to Romance (2010), Anouchka Grose says that "a large number of people, these days believe that Freud's Oedipus complex is defunct ... 'disproven', or simply found unnecessary, sometime in the last century".[53]

In Esquisse pour une autoanalyse, Pierre Bourdieu argues that the success of the concept of Oedipus is inseparable from the prestige associated with ancient Greek culture and the relations of domination that are reinforced in the use of this myth. In other words, if Oedipus was Bantu or Baoule, he probably would not have benefited from the coronation of universality. This remark recalls the historically and socially situated character of the founder of psychoanalysis.[61]

Evidence

A study conducted at Glasgow University potentially supports at least some aspects of the psychoanalytic conception of the Oedipus complex. The study demonstrated that men and women were twice as likely to choose a partner with the same eye color as the parent of the sex they are attracted to.[62] In another study by anthropologist Allen W. Johnson and psychiatrist Douglas Price-Williams suggests that the classic version of the Oedipus Complex that boys go through is present, with the sexual and aggressive sentiments less repressed in cultures without class separation.[63]

See also

References

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  56. ^ 1954-, Pinker, Steven (1997). How the mind works. New York: Norton. ISBN 9780393045352. OCLC 36379708.
  57. ^ Hans Keller: 1975: 1984 Minus 9 (London, 1975)
  58. ^ Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel and Bela Grunberger Freud or Reich?: Psychoanalysis and Illusion (London, 1986).
  59. ^ Glen O. Gabbard Long-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (London 2010) p. 11
  60. ^ Martin Daly, Margo Wilson Homicide (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1988).
  61. ^ Pierre Bourdieu, "Esquisse pour une auto-analyse", raisons d'agir, 2004
  62. ^ Petter, Olivia (27 October 2017). "We Seek Romantic Partners Who Look Like Our Parents, Finds Study". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2017-12-27. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  63. ^ Khan, Michael (2002). Basic Freud: Psychoanalytic Thought for the 21st Century. New York, NY: Basic Books. pp. 59–60. ISBN 0-465-03715-1.
Anti-Oedipus

Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (French: Capitalisme et schizophrénie. L'anti-Œdipe) is a 1972 book by French authors Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, respectively a philosopher and a psychoanalyst. It is the first volume of Capitalism and Schizophrenia, the second being A Thousand Plateaus (1980).

Deleuze and Guattari analyse the relationship of desire to reality and to capitalist society in particular; they address human psychology, economics, society, and history. They outline a "materialist psychiatry" modeled on the unconscious in its relationship with society and its productive processes, introduce the concept of "desiring-production" (which inter-relates "desiring machines" and a "body without organs"), offer a critique of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis that focuses on its theory of the Oedipus complex, and re-write Karl Marx's materialist account of the history of society's modes of production as a development through "primitive", "despotic", and "capitalist" societies, and detail their different organisations of production, "inscription" (which corresponds to Marx's "distribution" and "exchange"), and consumption. Additionally, they develop a critical practice that they call "schizoanalysis".

Other thinkers the authors draw on and criticize include Baruch Spinoza, Immanuel Kant, Charles Fourier, Charles Sanders Peirce, Carl Jung, Melanie Klein, Karl Jaspers, Lewis Mumford, Karl August Wittfogel, Wilhelm Reich, Georges Bataille, Louis Hjelmslev, Jacques Lacan, Gregory Bateson, Pierre Klossowski, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacques Monod, Louis Althusser, Victor Turner, Jean Oury, Jean-François Lyotard, Michel Foucault, R. D. Laing, David Cooper, and Pierre Clastres. They also draw on creative writers and artists such as Antonin Artaud, Samuel Beckett, Georg Büchner, Samuel Butler, Franz Kafka, Jack Kerouac, Heinrich von Kleist, D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Marcel Proust, Daniel Paul Schreber, and J. M. W. Turner. Friedrich Nietzsche is also an influence; Anti-Oedipus has been seen as a sequel to his The Antichrist.Anti-Oedipus became a publishing sensation and a celebrated work. Like Lyotard's Libidinal Economy (1974), it is seen as a key text in the micropolitics of desire. It has been credited with having devastated the French Lacanian movement, although "schizoanalysis" has been regarded as flawed for multiple reasons, including the emancipatory claims Deleuze and Guattari make for schizophrenia.

Castration anxiety

Castration anxiety is the fear of emasculation in both the literal and metaphorical sense. Castration anxiety is an overwhelming fear of damage to, or loss of, the penis—one of Sigmund Freud's earliest psychoanalytic theories. Although Freud regarded castration anxiety as a universal human experience, few empirical studies have been conducted on the topic. Much of the research that has been done on the topic was done decades ago, although still relevant today. The theory is that a child has a fear of damage being done to their genitalia by the parent of the same sex (e.g. a son being afraid of his father) as punishment for sexual feelings toward the parent of the opposite sex (e.g. a son toward his mother). It has been theorized that castration anxiety begins between the ages of 3 and 5, otherwise known as the phallic stage of development according to Freud. Although typically associated with males, castration anxiety is theorized to be experienced in differing ways for both the male and female sexes.

Delusion and Dream in Jensen's Gradiva

Delusion and Dream in Jensen's Gradiva (German: Der Wahn und die Träume in W. Jensens "Gradiva") is an essay written in 1907 by Sigmund Freud that subjects the novel Gradiva by Wilhelm Jensen, and especially its protagonist, to psychoanalysis.

The novel is about a young archaeologist, Norbert Hanold, who comes to realize his love for his childhood friend through a long and complex process, mainly by associating her with an idealized woman in the form of the Gradiva bas-relief.

Freud considered the novel as providing a prime example of 'something which might be called "cure by seduction" or "cure by love"', as well as evidence 'that the Oedipus complex is still active in normal adults, too'.

Electra complex

In Neo-Freudian psychology, the Electra complex, as proposed by Carl Jung in his Theory of Psychoanalysis, is a girl's psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father. In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl's phallic stage; a boy's analogous experience is the Oedipus complex. The Electra complex occurs in the third—phallic stage (ages 3–6)—of five psychosexual development stages: (i) the Oral, (ii) the Anal, (iii) the Phallic, (iv) the Latent, and (v) the Genital—in which the source of libido pleasure is in a different erogenous zone of the infant's body.In classical psychoanalytic theory, the child's identification with the same-sex parent is the successful resolution of the Electra complex and of the Oedipus complex; his and her key psychological experience to developing a mature sexual role and identity. Sigmund Freud instead proposed that girls and boys resolved their complexes differently—she via penis envy, he via castration anxiety; and that unsuccessful resolutions might lead to neurosis.

Hence, women and men who are fixated in the Electra and Oedipal stages of their psychosexual development might be considered "father-fixated" and "mother-fixated".

Father complex

Father complex in psychology is a complex—a group of unconscious associations, or strong unconscious impulses—which specifically pertains to the image or archetype of the father. These impulses may be either positive (admiring and seeking out older father figures) or negative (distrusting or fearful).

Sigmund Freud, and psychoanalysts after him, saw the father complex, and in particular ambivalent feelings for the father on the part of the male child, as an aspect of the Oedipus complex. By contrast, Carl Jung took the view that both males and females could have a father complex, which in turn might be either positive or negative.

Feminist views on the Oedipus complex

Feminists have long struggled with Sigmund Freud's classical model of gender and identity development and reality, which centers around the Oedipus complex. Freud's model, which became integral to orthodox psychoanalysis, suggests that because women lack the visible genitals of the male, they feel they are "missing" the most central characteristic necessary for gaining narcissistic value—therefore developing feelings of gender inequality and penis envy. In his late theory on the feminine, Freud recognized the early and long lasting libidinal attachment of the daughter to the mother during the pre-oedipal stages. Feminist psychoanalysts have confronted these ideas (particularly the female relationship to the real, imaginary and symbolic phallus) and reached different conclusions. Some generally agree with Freud's major outlines, modifying it through observations of the pre-Oedipal phase. Others reformulate Freud's theories more completely.

Fire It Up (EP)

Fire It Up is an EP released by Kid Rock in 1993.

Hamlet and Oedipus

Hamlet and Oedipus is a study of William Shakespeare's Hamlet in which the title character's inexplicable behaviours are subjected to investigation along psychoanalytic lines.The study was written by Sigmund Freud's colleague and biographer Ernest Jones, following on from Freud's own comments on the play, as expressed to Wilhelm Fliess in 1897, before being published in Chapter V of The Interpretation of Dreams (1899).

Health of Robert E. Howard

The health of American author Robert E. Howard (1906–1936), especially his mental health, has been the focus of the biographical and critical analysis of his life. In terms of physical health, Howard had a weak heart which he treated by taking digitalis. The precise nature of Howard's mental health has been much debated, both during his life and following his suicide. Three main points of view exists. Some have declared that Howard suffered from an Oedipus complex or similar mental disorder. Another viewpoint is that Howard suffered from major depressive disorder. The third view is that Howard had no disorders and his suicide was a common reaction to stress.

Id, ego and super-ego

The id, ego, and super-ego are three distinct, yet interacting agents in the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche.

The three parts are the theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction our mental life is described. According to this Freudian model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego is the organized, realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego.

As Freud explained:The functional importance of the ego is manifested in the fact that normally control over the approaches to motility devolves upon it. Thus in its relation to the id it is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength while the ego uses borrowed forces. The analogy may be carried a little further. Often a rider, if he is not to be parted from his horse, is obliged to guide it where it wants to go; so in the same way the ego is in the habit of transforming the id's will into action as if it were its own. (p. 19).Although the model is structural and makes reference to an apparatus, the id, ego and super-ego are purely psychological concepts and do not correspond to (somatic) structures of the brain such as the kind dealt with by neuroscience. The super-ego is observable in how someone can view themselves as guilty, bad, shameful, weak, and feel compelled to do certain things. Freud in The Ego and the Id discusses "the general character of harshness and cruelty exhibited by the [ego] ideal – its dictatorial 'Thou shalt.'"

Freud (1933) hypothesizes different levels of ego ideal or superego development with increasingly greater ideals:

...nor must it be forgotten that a child has a different estimate of [their] parents at different periods of [their] life. At the time at which the Oedipus complex gives place to the super-ego they are something quite magnificent; but later they lose much of this. Identifications then come about with these later parents as well, and indeed they regularly make important contributions to the formation of character; but in that case they only affect the ego, they no longer influence the super-ego, which has been determined by the earliest parental images.

The earlier in development, the greater the estimate of parental power. When one defuses into rivalry with the parental imago, then one feels the 'dictatorial thou shalt' to manifest the power the imago represents. Four general levels are found in Freud's work: the auto-erotic, the narcissistic, the anal, and the phallic. These different levels of development and the relations to parental imagos correspond to specific id forms of aggression and affection. For example, aggressive desires to decapitate, to dismember, to cannibalize, to swallow whole, to suck dry, to make disappear, to blow away, etc. animate myths, are enjoyed in fantasy and horror movies, and are observable in the fantasies and repressions of patients across cultures.

The concepts themselves arose at a late stage in the development of Freud's thought as the "structural model" (which succeeded his "economic model" and "topographical model") and was first discussed in his 1920 essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle and was formalized and elaborated upon three years later in his The Ego and the Id. Freud's proposal was influenced by the ambiguity of the term "unconscious" and its many conflicting uses.

Jocasta complex

In psychoanalytic theory, the Jocasta complex is the incestuous sexual desire of a mother towards her son.Raymond de Saussure introduced the term in 1920 by way of analogy to its logical converse in psychoanalysis, the Oedipus complex, and it may be used to cover different degrees of attachment, including domineering but asexual mother love – something perhaps particularly prevalent with an absent father.

Mother's boy

A mother's boy, also mummy's boy or mama's boy, is a man who is excessively attached to his mother at an age at which men are expected to be independent (e.g. live on their own, be economically independent, be married or about to be married). Due to cost of living of some states, this is a viable option for many single men or even newlyweds. Anecdotally, this age of independence varies throughout each stratum of every human society in the world, sometimes greatly. A mother's boy may be effete or effeminate, or might be perceived as being macho, or might have a personality disorder, such as avoidant personality disorder, or might be schizophrenic, so that the mother acts as a caregiver.

In classical Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes a child's desire to have sexual relations with the parent of the opposite sex. Sigmund Freud believed that a child's identification with the same-sex parent is the successful resolution of the Oedipus complex. If this identification fails, the boy remains a lifelong "mama's boy."

Being mother-bonded is sometimes seen as a sign of weakness, and has a social stigma attached to it in many places, although in other places it may be more acceptable or perceived as normal. A mother-bonded man is seen to give control of his own life to his mother.

My Oedipus Complex

My Oedipus Complex may refer to:

A short story written by Frank O'Connor

One of a number of singles in the Kid Rock discography

Oedipina complex

Oedipina complex (common name: Gamboa worm salamander) is a species of lungless salamander found in western South America from Costa Rica to western Colombia and northwestern Ecuador. This species inhabits humid tropical lowland forest where it can be found on the ground, and on bushy vegetation, logs and rocks. It can also be found on forest edges, but it does not survive in degraded areas. Deforestation is a threat to this species.Oedipina complex is a small salamander, measuring 4.5 cm (1.8 in) in snout–vent length and 12 cm (4.7 in) in total length. When disturbed, they may play dead in order to confuse potential predators.

Oedipus

Oedipus (UK: , US: ; Greek: Οἰδίπους Oidípous meaning 'swollen foot') was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother, thereby bringing disaster to his city and family.

The story of Oedipus is the subject of Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus Rex, which was followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Together, these plays make up Sophocles' three Theban plays. Oedipus represents two enduring themes of Greek myth and drama: the flawed nature of humanity and an individual's role in the course of destiny in a harsh universe.

In the best known version of the myth, Oedipus was born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta. Laius wished to thwart the prophecy, so he sent a shepherd-servant to leave Oedipus to die on a mountainside. However, the shepherd took pity on the baby and passed him to another shepherd who gave Oedipus to King Polybus and Queen Merope to raise as their own. Oedipus learned from the oracle at Delphi of the prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother but, unaware of his true parentage, believed he was fated to murder Polybus and marry Merope, so left for Thebes. On his way he met an older man and killed him in a quarrel. Continuing on to Thebes, he found that the king of the city (Laius) had been recently killed, and that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx. Oedipus answered the monster's riddle correctly, defeating it and winning the throne of the dead king – and the hand in marriage of the king's widow, who was also (unbeknownst to him) his mother Jocasta.

Years later, to end a plague on Thebes, Oedipus searched to find who had killed Laius, and discovered that he himself was responsible. Jocasta, upon realizing that she had married her own son, hung herself. Oedipus then seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them.

The legend of Oedipus has been retold in many versions, and was used by Sigmund Freud to name and give mythic precedent to the Oedipus complex.

Oedipus in the Trobriands

Oedipus in the Trobriands is a 1982 book about the Oedipus complex by the anthropologist Melford Spiro, in which the author criticizes the research of Bronislaw Malinowski on the Trobriand Islanders. The work received positive reviews, and Spiro's criticism of Malinowski was compared to Derek Freeman's criticism of Margaret Mead in Margaret Mead and Samoa (1983).

Psychosexual development

In Freudian psychology, psychosexual development is a central element of the psychoanalytic sexual drive theory, that human beings, from birth, possess an instinctual libido (sexual energy) that develops in five stages. Each stage – the oral, the anal, the phallic, the latent, and the genital – is characterized by the erogenous zone that is the source of the libidinal drive. Sigmund Freud proposed that if the child experienced sexual frustration in relation to any psychosexual developmental stage, he or she would experience anxiety that would persist into adulthood as a neurosis, a functional mental disorder.

Sex and Repression in Savage Society

Sex and Repression in Savage Society is a 1927 book by anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. It is considered "a famous critique of psychoanalysis, arguing that the 'Oedipus complex' described by Freud is not universal." Malinowski gives a partial explanation of the role of sex in social organization through the synthesis of psychoanalysis and anthropology, considered competing academic disciplines at the time. The book is considered an important contribution to psychoanalysis, which Malinowski acknowledged was a "popular craze of the day."

I have never been in any sense a follower of psycho-analytic practice, or an adherent of psycho-analytic theory; and now, while impatient of the exorbitant claims of psycho-analysis, of its chaotic arguments and tangled terminology, I must yet acknowledge a deep sense of indepbtedness to it for stimulation as well for valuable instruction in some aspects of human psychology.

The book is divided into four parts. In Part 1 (The Formation of a Complex), he lays out the issues related to childhood sexuality through puberty and maternal roles. In Part 2 (The Mirror of Tradition) he examines myth and taboo related to family dynamics. In Part 3 (Psycho-analysis and Anthropology), he examines the rift between the two disciplines and looks at the role parricide may have as a foundation of culture. In Part 4 (Instinct and Culture), he examines how humans made the transition from animalistic instincts to organized society, situating the family as "the cradle of nascent culture." He describes how taboos that develop within a society must then be enforced through authority and repression.

Malinowski's studies of the Trobriand islanders challenged the Freudian proposal that psychosexual development (e.g. the Oedipus complex) was universal. He reported that in the insular matriarchal society of the Trobriand, boys are disciplined by their maternal uncles, not their fathers; impartial, avuncular discipline. Malinowski reported that boys dreamed of feared uncles, not of beloved fathers, thus, power — not sexual jealousy — is the source of Oedipal conflict in such non–Western societies.

The Man Who Smiles

L'uomo che sorride or The Man Who Smiles is a 1936 Italian comedy film about an Oedipus Complex, directed by Mario Mattoli. The film stars Vittorio De Sica, Umberto Melnati, Enrico Viarisio, Assia Noris and Paola Borboni.

The film premiered in the USA on 16 April 1937.

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