Chapter

Maternal Enthrallment: Two Case Histories

Sudhir Kakar

in Culture and Psyche

Second edition

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780195696684
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080304 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195696684.003.0007
Maternal Enthrallment: Two Case Histories

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This chapter presents two case histories on what is believed to be the major male complex in Indian (Hindu) culture, known as ‘maternal enthrallment’. Both cases give narrative life to the paradoxes of maternal enthrallment: the son's desire to get away from the mother and the fear of separation, the longing for a mother he hates, incestuous desire (and near-incestuous experiences) combined with the terror triggered by assertive female sexuality. This chapter shows that the mother's sexual stimulation of the boy is associated more with sexual inhibitions and dysfunctions than with genuine perversions of the kind documented in Western case histories.

Keywords: maternal enthrallment; mother; male complex; paradoxes; incestuous desire; female sexuality; sexual inhibitions; son

Chapter.  6035 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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