Psychoanalysis and Non-Western Cultures*

Sudhir Kakar

in Culture and Psyche

Second edition

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780195696684
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080304 | DOI:
Psychoanalysis and Non-Western Cultures*

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The relationship between psychoanalysis and non-Western cultures is not well-understood. Although Sigmund Freud had wide-ranging cultural interests, he was largely indifferent to those outside the Western intellectual and artistic tradition. This chapter discusses problems in psychoanalytic writings on non-Western cultures and presents examples from clinical practice in India. It argues that the confinement of psychoanalysis to the West and its relative stagnation in two non-Western societies, India and Japan, may be attributed to the model of man that underlies classical drive psychology. It also examines an issue in analytic technique, namely, the concept of analytic neutrality. Finally, it considers relational models within psychoanalysis that generally view the mental representations of relationships with others as the fundamental building blocks of mental life.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud; psychoanalysis; India; non-Western cultures; Japan; India; West; drive psychology; relationships; mental life

Chapter.  5134 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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