The Victory of Freudianism: It's All Sex

in Erotic Attunement

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780226811383
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226811376 | DOI:
The Victory of Freudianism: It's All Sex

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This chapter explores the mixed legacy of Sigmund Freud and his successors against the backdrop of an American and European fascination with “sexual salvation.” It first presents a tradition of sexual redemption that predates Freud. It also reviews the dimensions of Freud's work that yielded the sexual reductionism that is called “Freudianism.” Then, it examines a dimension of Freud's thought that explains how sensual relations can carry multiple meanings simultaneously. Freudianism may oversimplify, but Freud's work itself appreciated the complex layering of the sensual experience. It is noted that inherited, stereotyped Freudian ways of thinking, along with some Freud-scented knockoffs, are spread. Examples from Freud's own work on sexuality indicated the reasons for the complexity of the Freudian heritage in American culture. His reminder of the enormous power that bodies and early intimate relations have to shape both personalities and cultures must not be forgotten.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud; sexual salvation; Freudianism; sexuality; American culture; sexual redemption; sexual reductionism; sensual relations

Chapter.  8376 words. 

Subjects: Ethical Issues and Debates

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