Sigmund Freud Essay

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Sigmund Freud
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Psychology and its evolvement in the U.S. and its culture exploded with the theories and writings of Sigmund Freud. America welcomed psychoanalysis as its new treatment for hysteria and mental illnesses. Society began to rely on psychoanalysts as not only their doctors but their personal consultants. A new outlook on the American culture and its thought began to emerge. Many found psychoanalysts to be aristocrats and others viewed it as a new tool of discovering the mind and how it worked. Psychoanalysis and psychosexual theories of Freud became the target for feminist uprisings during 1920’s and 60’s that changed American outlook on its culture and social roles. Freud and the emergence of
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One of Freud’s most famous and controversial theories is the psychosexual stages of development. The emphasis in psychoanalytic theory is on the pregenital or the first three stages (Nye, p.19). The oral stage concentrates its attention on the infant’s mouth and the need to suck and bite. The anal stage centers on the anus. The phallic stage concentrates on the genital organs as the child begins to masturbate and fantasize. According to Freud, the individual must achieve optimal amount of gratification in each stage to prevent fixation (Rieff, p.57). If there is too much gratification, they may be reluctant to move on, but if there is too little, frustration and anxiety may retard future development (Nye, p.19). The phallic stage is the most important stage in the first five years of life. The Oedipus complex that is described in this stage causes boys to develop sexual attraction to their mother and girls to be attracted to their father. The male child wants to displace his father and possess his mother. Girls seek the opposite. The boy possesses jealousy and resentment towards his father and wants to rival with him. Castration anxiety occurs due to fear of the father as a dominant figure and a threat to the boys’ genitals. Resolution to this complex is introduced

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