The Oedipus Complex. What is Universal in every culture?

El Complejo de Edipo. ¿Universal en toda cultura?The following document is a test conducted as practice in the subject of Social Anthropology at Degree in Sociology (UNED) during the 2009/2010 academic year.

Since Malinowski, back in the year 1927, and after its revolutionary ethnographic methods applied in the field work among the islanders trobianders of the South Pacific, dis-prove the supposed universality of the Oedipus complex which Freud proposed a few years earlier —contrary to what you might think— the theory of Freud was not with Malinowski the final blow. Malinowski tried to show that the psychology of individual —especially in childhood— it depends on the cultural context. Contrary to what Freud stated in his original theory, which conferred upon the phenomenon of the Oedipus complex of the universal, regardless of factors such as education, ethnicity or culture in and of itself.

It’s been a century since Freud made his first theory about the Oedipus complex. Since then, there have been many criticisms —positive and negative— received. We will try here to analyse the different approaches between psychoanalysis and anthropology in all this time. In order to know if such a phenomenon can be considered universal, and if it varies in function of the cultures, before we have to ask ourselves on the same theory of the Oedipus complex: What suggested Freud? and how is developed the theory over time? These issues are fundamental to understanding how it operates in the Oedipus complex in the current debate on its universality, and not least for what it has meant to the birth of a new branch of Anthropology: the anthropology of psychoanalysis.

The Oedipus Complex, is Universal in every culture?

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