glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy





social sciences

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-E  F-L  M-Z

page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  

Second Generation Dissidents

Among the members of the second generation of psychoanalysts who emerged after 1918, Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) was the most prominent dissenter. He was the founder of Freudian Marxism, the current of thought also represented by theoreticians such as Otto Fenichel (1897-1948) and Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979).

In his influential analysis of fascism, Reich contended that its cause was not economic or political, but the sexually unsatisfactory lives led by the masses. Criticizing traditional psychoanalysts for their attempt to adapt psychoanalysis to the demands of bourgeois capitalism, Reich propounded a conception of sexuality that stressed biological genitality as a means of attaining an orgiastic sense of happiness, which was not limited by the late Freudian postulation of Thanatos, the death drive. Because of his radical ideas and Communist allegiance, Reich was rejected by Freud, excluded from the International Psychoanalytical Association, and defamed by Ernest Jones.

Sponsor Message.

Unwilling to revise their own anti-homosexual prejudices, the early dissidents of psychoanalysis undertook no noticeable effort to question heterosexual normativity. While Alfred Adler regarded homosexuality as inimical to culture and pleaded for laws requiring compulsory treatment of homosexuals, Wilhelm Reich is reported to have refused to treat a homosexual, remarking that he did not want to deal "with such filth."

Freud's Close Collaborators

The development and expansion of Freudian psychoanalysis could hardly be assessed without taking into consideration the theoretical and organizational work of Freud's closest collaborators.

Sándor Ferenczi (1873-1933) was the most original clinician in the history of Freudian psychoanalysis and the master's preferred disciple, whom he called his "paladin" and "secret grand vizier." Ferenczi became one of the driving forces of the Hungarian psychoanalytical movement, where some of the most creative theoreticians (such as Melanie Klein and Geza Roheim) initiated their work.

From early on, Ferenczi openly challenged prejudices against homosexuality. In his article "Sexuális átméneti fotozatokról" (Sexual intermediary stages), which he presented at the Medical Association of Budapest in 1905, Ferenczi pleaded for a biological and sociological study of the homosexual problem. He supported the petition of Magnus Hirschfeld's Scientific Humanitarian Committee calling for the repeal of the anti-homosexual Paragraph 175 of the German penal code.

In 1919, Ferenczi was awarded the short-lived chair of psychoanalysis at the University of Budapest, at that time the only one of its kind. In his book Versuch einer Genitaltheorie (Thalassa. A Theory of Genitality, 1924), Ferenczi contended that since intra-uterine life reproduced the conditions of existence of living beings in the ocean, the nostalgia for returning to the womb of the mother was also an attempt to revert to the fetal state in maritime depths.

Ferenczi was not alone in his theoretical efforts to abandon the Freudian overemphasis on the role of the father for the sake of a primary and decisive relation to the mother. In 1924, Otto Rank (1884-1939), another brilliant theoretician and innovator of psychoanalytical technique, published his famous treatise Das Trauma der Geburt und seine Bedeutung für die Psychoanalyse (The Trauma of Birth and its Meaning for Psychoanalysis), in which he asserted that the individual attempts to overcome his birth trauma by unconsciously trying to regain the motherly womb. Drawing attention to the role of femininity and motherhood, Rank pleaded for downplaying the import of the Oedipal and castration complexes. By so doing, he anticipated one of the major contentions of British psychoanalysis.

In the history of the psychoanalytical movement, Karl Abraham (1877-1925) is associated with the growing importance of Berlin in the years following World War I until the rise to power of the Nazi regime. In 1908, Abraham--along with Magnus Hirschfeld, Ivan Bloch, Heinrich Körber, and Otto Juliusburger--established a Freudian circle that was replaced in 1910 by the Psychoanalytic Society of Berlin. Ten years later, Abraham created, with the aid of Max Eitington and Ernst Simmel, the Psychoanalytic Institute of Berlin, a clinical and educational organization that was considered by 1930 to be the heart of the international psychoanalytical movement.

In 1921, Rank opposed, with the support of Freud, the views of Karl Abraham and his Berlin circle regarding the unsuitability of homosexuals to become psychoanalysts. However, the anti-homosexual position, also supported by the influential Ernest Jones, eventually became the official policy of the IPA.

Psychoanalysis in Britain and the United States

Two years before the publication of the treatises by Ferenczi and Rank, the British psychoanalyst Ernest Jones (1879-1958) had already initiated the debate on feminine sexuality at the 1922 congress of the International Psychoanalytical Association in Berlin. Having introduced and promoted psychoanalysis in Great Britain, Jones supported the work of Melanie Klein (1882-1960), who propounded a feminist-oriented revision of Freudian teachings concerning the Oedipal complex and the psychosexual differentiation of male and female children. In time, Klein became the founder of a new school of psychoanalytical thought in Great Britain comparable to that founded by Jacques Lacan in France.

  <previous page   page: 1  2  3  4  5  6   next page>  
Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about Social Sciences
Popular Topics:

Social Sciences

Stonewall Riots
Stonewall Riots

Gay Liberation Front

The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980

Leather Culture

Anthony, Susan B.
Anthony, Susan B.

Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence



Computers, the Internet, and New Media





This Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.