Otto Fenichel  

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-'''Psychoanalytic sociology''' is the research field that analyzes [[society]] using the same methods that [[psychoanalysis]] applied to analyze an individual.+'''Otto Fenichel''' (2 December 1897 in [[Vienna]] – 22 January 1946 in [[Los Angeles]]) was a [[Psychoanalysis|psychoanalyst]] of the so-called "second generation".
-Its common focus are the [[unconscious]] mental processes and behaviour of a society. Some sociologists consider the field to be insufficiently [[empirical]] and largely pseudoscientific.+Otto Fenichel started studying medicine in 1915 in Vienna. Already as a very young man, when still in school, he was attracted by the circle of psychoanalysts around [[Sigmund Freud|Freud]]. During the years 1915 and 1919, he attended lectures by Freud, and as early as 1920, aged 23, he became a member of the [[Vienna Psychoanalytic Society]].
-Similarly, [[sociatry]] applies [[psychiatry]] to society itself.+In 1922 Fenichel moved to Berlin. During his Berlin time, until 1934, he was a member of a group of Socialist and/or Marxist psychoanalysts (with [[Siegfried Bernfeld]], [[Erich Fromm]], [[Wilhelm Reich]] and others). After his emigration – 1934 to Oslo, 1935 to Prague, 1938 to Los Angeles – he organized the contact between the worldwide scattered Marxist psychoanalysts by means of top secret "Rundbriefe", i.e. circular letters. Those Rundbriefe, which became publicly known only in 1998, can be counted among the most important documents pertaining to the problematic history of psychoanalysis between 1934 and 1945, especially in regard to the problem of the expulsion of [[Wilhelm Reich]] from the [[International Psychoanalytic Association]] in 1934.
- +
-==History==+
-===Freud (1907-1939)===+
- +
-The desire to establish a link between psychoanalysis and sociology appears very early on in [[Freud]]'s work. The articles "[[Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices]]" (1907b) and " [['Civilized' Sexual Morality and Modern Nervous Illness]]" (1908d) are evidence of this. +
- +
-The same mode of approach was also employed by Freud in his book ''[[Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego]]'' (1921), where he argued that 'crowd psychology, and with it all social psychology, is parasitic on individual psychology'. (Peter Gay, ''[[Freud: A Life for Our Time]]''). ''[[Civilization and Its Discontents]]'' in 1930 formed however his fullest sociological study, wherein he 'anchored his analysis of social and political life in a theory of human nature very much his own'. (Gay)+
- +
-In ''[[Totem and Taboo]]'' (1912-1913a) and [[Moses and Monotheism]] (1939a), Freud analyzed [[social cohesion]], the advent of civilization, and the rise of its contemporary discontents'; while [[James Strachey]] described ''[[The Future of an Illusion]]'' (1927) as 'the first of a number of sociological works to which Freud devoted most of his remaining years'.+
- +
-===Freudians===+
-'Many of the early analysts were [[Marxists]]...Reich, [[Paul Federn]] and [[Otto Fenichel]] the most notable among them', and were fully prepared, in [[Erich Fromm]]'s words, to at least '"try to explain psychic structure as determined by social structure"'.(Adam Phillips, ''On Flirtation'') [[Theodor Adorno]]'s essays on psychoanalysis, reappropriated Freud's work and applied it to [[social phenomena]], and in particular in his ''[[Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda]]'' (1951), he outlined a theory of [[social psychology]].+
- +
-In 1946, Fenichel considered that '"Comparative sociology of education" is a new scientific field of the greatest practical importance', as well as concluding in general that it is 'experience, that is, the cultural conditions, that transforms potentialities into realities, that shapes the real mental structure of man by forcing his instinctual demands into certain directions'.+
- +
-From a different angle, the early [[Lacan]] argued that 'any "concrete psychology" must be augmented by a reference to ethnology, history and law'; and later drew on '[[Lévi-Strauss]]'s structural anthropology...[for] what will be termed [[the Symbolic]]'. Post-Lacanians would continue to explore such sociological areas as 'the [[superego]] as the moment of common cultural binding', or the way 'the social bond, the Law binding us, is...a bond of the impossibility of obedience ''or'' disobedience'.+
- +
-===1960s and the Left===+
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-The [[Sixties]] saw a radical sociopsychoanalysis exert wide popular influence under the guidance of a number of different thinkers. [[David Cooper (psychiatrist)|David Cooper]] attempted to explore 'in terms of Freud's discovery...the social function of the family as an ideological conditioning device'. [[R. D. Laing]] 'has adapted [[Sartre]]'s existential psychoanalysis..[as he] analyzes the concept of [[alienation]]': looking at the 'analysis of alienation in sociological and clinical senses', Laing concluded grandly that 'Alienation as our present destiny is achieved only by outrageous violence perpetrated by human beings on human beings'.+
- +
-[[Norman O. Brown]] examined a 'politics made out of delinquency...even as the crime, so also conscience is collective'. [[Herbert Marcuse]] explored how in late modernity 'repressive desublimation is indeed operative in the sexual sphere...as the by-product of the social controls of technological reality, which extend liberty while intensifying domination'.+
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-==Feminist contributions==+
- +
-[[Nancy Chodorow]]'s work has been of significance within feminist understandings, in particular ''The Reproduction of Mothering and The Power of Feelings''. 'Although Chodorow uses a psychoanalytic approach, she rejects the instinctual determinism of the classic Freudian account in favor of a more nuanced, social psychological approach that incorporates recent developments in [[object relations theory]]'.+
- +
-[[Jessica Benjamin]] has also been influential in this project of linking social theory to psychoanalysis, as with ''The Shadow of the Other''. [[Juliet Mitchell]] however has criticised the way 'Benjamin's injunction is made within a psychosocial, not a psychoanalytical framework'. +
-==Criticism==+
- +
-Freud early warned of any 'attempt of this kind to carry psychoanalysis over to the cultural community...that it is dangerous, not only with men but also with concepts, to tear them from the sphere in which they have originated and been evolved'.+
- +
-Others have since observed that 'efforts to link sociology and psychoanalysis have yielded varied results....[some], intoxicated by the success of analysis, have indiscriminately applied psychoanalytic concepts to social reality and have succeeded only in bastardizing psychoanalysis (making it a management tool) and disfiguring social processes'.+
==See also== ==See also==
-* [[Baudrillard]]+* [[Healthy narcissism]]
-* [[Crowd psychology]]+* [[Narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury]]
-* [[Critical theory]]+* [[Narcissistic supply]]
-* [[Frankfurt School]]+
-* [[Gender studies]]+
-* [[Narcissism of small differences]]+
-* [[Neo-Freudian]]+
-* [[Social criticism]]+
-* [[Social psychology]]+
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Otto Fenichel (2 December 1897 in Vienna – 22 January 1946 in Los Angeles) was a psychoanalyst of the so-called "second generation".

Otto Fenichel started studying medicine in 1915 in Vienna. Already as a very young man, when still in school, he was attracted by the circle of psychoanalysts around Freud. During the years 1915 and 1919, he attended lectures by Freud, and as early as 1920, aged 23, he became a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society.

In 1922 Fenichel moved to Berlin. During his Berlin time, until 1934, he was a member of a group of Socialist and/or Marxist psychoanalysts (with Siegfried Bernfeld, Erich Fromm, Wilhelm Reich and others). After his emigration – 1934 to Oslo, 1935 to Prague, 1938 to Los Angeles – he organized the contact between the worldwide scattered Marxist psychoanalysts by means of top secret "Rundbriefe", i.e. circular letters. Those Rundbriefe, which became publicly known only in 1998, can be counted among the most important documents pertaining to the problematic history of psychoanalysis between 1934 and 1945, especially in regard to the problem of the expulsion of Wilhelm Reich from the International Psychoanalytic Association in 1934.

See also




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