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Freudian Psychoanalysis. Summary Fetishism as an Example. Outline. Sigmund Freud Jacque Lacan Fetishism Continuations ego psychology & object-relations theory Connections with Marxism Video References. Freudian Psychoanalysis: General Comment --Deconstruction.

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freudian psychoanalysis

Freudian Psychoanalysis


Fetishism as an Example

  • Sigmund Freud
  • Jacque Lacan
  • Fetishism
  • Continuations
    • ego psychology & object-relations theory
    • Connections with Marxism
  • Video References
freudian psychoanalysis general comment deconstruction
Freudian Psychoanalysis: General Comment --Deconstruction
  • Freud begins with a series of hierarchical oppositions:
    • normal/pathological,
    • Sanity/insanity,
    • Experience/dream,
    • Conscious/unconscious,
    • Life/death.

The first –prior and richer;The second–negation or complication;

  • Freud: the first –”a special case of the fundamentals designated by the second term.”(Jonathan Culler qud in Wright 124)
freudian psychoanalysis major concepts terms
Freudian Psychoanalysis: Major Concepts & Terms
    • [Beginning Theory]
  • The Unconscious (taking a large part of our mind),
  • Repression & Sublimation (the other defense mechanisms– screen memory, projection, transference, Freudian slip; see here )
  • e.g. Psychology of Everyday Life; Forgetting, slips of the tongue, bungled actions, superstitions and errors'
freud s interpretations of dreams
Freud’s Interpretations of Dreams
  • Dream work (see here; 4:11~6:30) –condensation and displacement  sexual symbols (Note: Freud: 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar‘)
    • E.g. a woman dreaming of a bete noire  Schwartz.
    • e.g. significant omission of the word 'aliquis' (which means 'somebody') in a young man’s statement
  • e.g. Dora’s dreams (of a fire, in which her father said: “father said 'I refuse to let myself and my two children be burnt for the sake of your jewel-case'.
freudian psychoanalysis major concepts terms1
Freudian Psychoanalysis: Major Concepts & Terms
    • [Beginning Theory]
  • Sexuality Development, libido, and Oedipus Complex
  • e.g. Hamlet – “Hamlet cannot avenge this crime because he is guilty of wanting to commit the same crime himself. He has an Oedipus complex, that is, a repressed sexual desire for his own mother, and a consequent wish to do away with his father”
  • e.g. Sons and Lovers
  • e.g. Homecoming, American Beauty [challenging the Father]
freudian psychoanalysis possible functions criticism
Freudian Psychoanalysis: possible functions & criticism

A. Psyche, Id psychology & Child development: The theory of Oedipus complex and penis envy

-- helps explain gendering processes in patriarchal society.

-- Freud's limitations or our misunderstanding?

-- inability to explain female sexuality--"What do women want?"

-- its focus on infantile psychology. "Between ordinary adult personality traits and infantile psychology thereare layers upon layers of relationships, experiences, values and meanings."

freudian psychoanalysis possible functions criticism1
Freudian Psychoanalysis: possible functions & criticism

B. Psychobiography and Art as Dream work.

-- psychobiography (treating artists as patients, art as dream work, and explaining art in terms of his/her life) can be reductive, ignoring art’s aesthetic aspects on the conscious level. (e.g. E. Bishop’s objectification/distantiation of her loss )

-- We can examine our own transference in reading.

-- interpretation of dream: helps us understand the languages of dream.

freudian psychoanalysis possible functions criticism2
Freudian Psychoanalysis: possible functions & criticism

C. Psychological Pattern & Disorders

1) Patterns in Psychic Processes :

repression  displacement/sublimation or fixation/regression

2) Disorder -- the return of the repressed through symptoms.

repetition compulsion, defense mechanism, death/life instincts

-- Helpful for character and self analysis;

-- entering the symbolic order means having reality checks; otherwise, we may become psychotic.

freudian psychoanalysis lacan
Freudian Psychoanalysis: Lacan

The Imaginary

  • Add linguistic elements to Freud’s analysis. (Evidence: dream work)
  • Ego – a mirror image, an illusion.
  • Barred subject: S-ier/S-ied; or S; 'I am where I think not'
  • [Beginning Theory] There is a perpetual barrier between signifier (the word) and signified (the referent). … Hence, “we are forced to accept the notion of an incessant sliding of the signified under the signifer” (Lodge, p. 87).
  • Sliding beneath—the signified, is our desire.
freudian psychoanalysis lacan1
Freudian Psychoanalysis: Lacan
  • The three orders of human existence: constant antagonism between the Real and the Symbolic, our mirror images and the need to “look.” -- The Symbolic, The Imaginary, and the Real (black hole, return as absences  the semiotic for Kristeva)
  • Entering the Symbolic Order, we follow the Name of the Father (its power and logic)
  • Desire as lack --
    • The differences between need, demand (with language) and desire.
    • The mother as feminine Other, our needs for the “others” (objet a).

--Is this another fiction?



An example of controversies and continuation

fetishism of different kinds
Fetishism – of Different Kinds
  • (Religious fetishism: body, object, god and charm 拜物教--人體、物體、神像和護身符四大類);
  • Erotic/Sexual fetishism;
  • Commodity fetishism and Colonial fetishism
fetishism general def
FETISHISM—general def.
  • Erotic fetishism-- the dependence on particular objects (part of a body or an inanimate object) to obtain sexual arousal.
  • Most common fetish objects are Female underwear, Leatherwear, and Rubber. Using female underwear for fetishistic purposes is one reason for partial cross-dressing.
erotic fetishism examples
Erotic fetishism- Examples
  • Clothing Fetishism- underwear- uniforms (e.g. Exotica)- gloves - shoes/boots/pantyhose
  • (Body) Modification- tattoos- piercing
  • Material Fetishism- leather- fur- velvet (e.g. Blue Velvet)
erotic fetishism examples1
Erotic fetishism- Examples
  • Body Fetishism- legs/feet - hair- nails/claws - belly buttons
  • Other Fetishism- manaquins/robots- cross dressing

- cigarette

erotic fetishism freud s analysis
Erotic fetishism- Freud’s analysis
  • Disavowal: The little boy sees the mother’s genitals and simultaneously denies his perception of her castration.

//his castration fear

Solution -- denial/acceptance of her castration, and by extension his own, by finding a substitute.

  • Fetish:
    • A substitute for the mother’s missing penis;
    • Linked metonymically to the female genitalia;
    • Never the same as the original, which is a fiction. (imaginary phallus or phallic mother)
erotic fetishism reasons
Erotic fetishism- Reasons
  • Fetishization:
    • eroticizes an object or a non-genital part of one’s body;
    • allows the boy to remain intimate with the “phallic mother” while at the same time enter the symbolic, accepting the father’s law and developing his masculinity.
  • Lacan’s example: Little Harry (Grosz 119-20)
  • Is fetishism all about need for power and identification?
  • Are we all fetishists, one way or another
fetishism example

Prosperine, 1877

Fetishism: example
  • Fazio's Mistress, 1863.D.G.Rossetti 
erotic fetishism extention
Erotic fetishism- Extention
  • Visual Pleasures in Hollywood films
  • –the camera takes a male perspective, watching female stars as passive object of look
  • Satisfy two kinds of desire:
  • Male voyeurism –peeping in order to possess
  • Fetishism --look and identify with the glamorized female stars;

-- fetishizing women’s body on the screen; in order to project them as “phallic mother”(//e.g. film noire: the woman has to be a lack, losing memory of her identity.)

erotic fetishism criticism
Erotic fetishism- Criticism
  • Reflects Freud’s emphasis of--
    • Female castration, male castration anxiety
    • Freud’s privileging the phallus
  • Feminist responses

1. Rejection –fetishism coincides with the norm of phallocentrism.

2. Female fetishism: e.g. collection of memorabilia; self-fetishization;

3. Rewriting: female disavowal—women disavow their own castration through narcissism or hysteria. It also explains female development of lesbianism.

examples for analysis mulholland dr its narcissistic elements
Examples for analysis: Mulholland Dr. –its “Narcissistic” Elements
  • As a revision of film noire, it has a woman, but not a man, in pursuit of a femme fatale (who is mysterious and amnesiac).
  • The fetishistic images in the film turn to be those of herself.
  • Mirror/reality forms a vicious circle, and there is no outlet for her.
rene magritte the dangerous liaison http bertc com magritte menu htm
Rene Magritte, The Dangerous Liaison
  • The woman hides behind a projected “phallic” image of herself.  contradiction between soliciting gaze with the gesture of modesty and self-projection.
  • (Cf. Wright 185)
fetishism literary examples
Fetishism: Literary Examples
  • Hemingway
  • his male heroes – all amputees. (Jake Barnes is missing his penis. Harry Morgan is missing his arm. Harry Walden has a gangrenous leg. Colonel Cantwell has been shot "twice through the hand.“)
    • a fear of castration  envy of masculine grace.
    • an unsettling identification with the "castrated" woman, which paradoxically intensifies castration anxiety. e.g.
fetishism literary examples1
Fetishism: Literary Examples

“問金庸情是何物:禮物、信物、證物”– by 張小虹;

-- Some fetishes may not be sexual in nature


-- green light in The Great Gatsby (national fetish)

-- commodity fetish (e.g. The commodities in such realist novels as Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath or Sister Carrie)

fetishism of other kinds colonial fetish
Fetishism of Other Kinds: Colonial Fetish
  • sexual fetish the sexualized "fetish of colonial discourse" (Homi Bhabha)
  • colonial fetish:
    • in the ambivalent space "in between“
      • an imposed identity and the reality of their humanity for the colonized
      • between the recognized and the disavowed,
      • between fear and desire for the colonizers.
  • The tropes of the sexual fetish are present in the colonial fetish, but syncretized with certain tropes of colonialist experience and identity to embody the larger socio-political context of colonial relations.
fetishism of other kinds colonial fetish1
Fetishism of Other Kinds: Colonial Fetish
  • e.g.1. the image of the submissive and sweet Oriental woman (Madame Butterfly);
  • 2. Jimmie Durham Self-Portrait (1986) Sexually powerful aborigine. -- sea shells for ears, bits of animal hide hair; one turquoise eye is just to show a little "Indianness," and the feathers revealed by an open chest cavity imply a certain "light-heartedness." and defiantly "large and colorful" genitals.
fetishism of other kinds commodity fetish
Fetishism of Other Kinds: Commodity Fetish
  • The charming and enigmatic nature of commodity

 Exchange values added to it;

  • relations between the products // relations between men

e.g. Cell phone, Hello Kitty, etc.

  • More next time.



ego psychology object relations theory
ego psychology & object-relations theory
  • Ego psychology – deal with the management of fantasies for the maintenance of identity;
  • (id psychology– instinctual drives and private fantasies)
  • Object-relations:
    • feelings about the mother projected to an external object;  multiple interactions with the object  establish one’s relations with reality.
combined with marxism
Combined with Marxism
  • The symbolic order – filled with signs of ideologies;
  • Commodity –as a sublime object of our desire (to hide the inner split in us).
  • Analyzing cultural symptoms. e.g. the need for stigmatization when SARRS occurs.
  • Treating Psychoanalysis as a discourse that gets form when traditional families are challenged. (e.g. Foucault)
online references
Online References
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Psychoanalytic Criticism: A Reappraisal by Elizabeth Wright. Polity,1998.\
  • Elizabeth Grosz Jacque Lacan: A Feminist Introduction
video references
Video References
  • Freud (Biography) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Jacques Lacan By Marcus Pond
  • Texts:
    • all of Hitchcock’s films
    • A Dangerous Method (2011) [about Freud, Jung and Sabina Spielrein]
    • Muholland Dr.; The Piano, The Piano Teacher, American Beauty, etc.
    • Mindscape (link)