Notes on Freud
The unconscious splits the subject into consciousness/and/ unconscious motives and
What is the unconscious?
First, human being is split between a knowing self and an unconscious self – we have
little access to the unconscious
Slips of the tongue: the unconscious speaks in our dreams. We speak about the past
through free association to try to access what has been repressed in our unconsious.
Ego: our conscious rational selves.
Id: the unconscious where our desires are lodged. The irrational is driven by desire and
Super ego: our internal critic
For Freud, the development of the self is tied to sexuality.
Infants are sexual from the day they are born (sensuousness).
All infants are polymorphously perverse. They can experience pleasure from
stimulation on all parts of the body.
1 Oral phase: the child gets pleasure from sucking (breast offers pleasure and
2 Anal Phase: the child takes pleasure in letting go and holding on
3 Phallic Phase: sexuality begins to be organized around the genitals.
Oedipus Conflict: occurs between the ages of 3 and 5
The child needs to separate from the caregiver (first love) in order to take on future
Psychical processes: gender identity is a traumatic struggle. This desire reappears every
so often: masculinity and femininity are always under threat.
Castration anxiety: How an infant becomes a boy. The boy sees that he has a penis and
the mother does not (Recognizes sexual difference). Sees women as castrated and gives
up the fantasy of the mother, and must begin identifying with the father.
Penis envy: How an infant becomes a girl: neither the girl nor the mother has a penis;
the girl is angry at the mother for this and identifies with the father. She must transform
the wish for the penis with a wish for a baby. Children are initially bisexual; they feel love for and identification with both parents
Gender is not a natural acquisition but a long process of struggle, loss, and constant
The libido: the motive force of sexual life is not gendered. Libido is just one category
and includes the motive force in both male, female and transgendered sexual life.
Jacques Lacan: people enter the social world through Language and language represents
the hegemony of the patriarchical order. Penis envy may instead equal envy of the
promise of patriarchal power and privilege in a male dominated society.
Freud: Anatomy is Destiny
Is Freud’s statement descriptive or prescriptive or both?
In these many ideas what is considered? What is thought as central? What is rendered
invisible? Is what is rendered invisible really invisible?
Discussion of Lober article.
• Dicotomizes gender roles and what men and women are and that tey are different and
he explained differences through psychological analysis
• His theories influenced a lot of what we think now of gender roles
• Talking about development and the sexual of the mother and father, he is talking
about them as figures not as biological being discuss normal sexual development and
sexuality but doesn’t place value on them and believe that most people fall into the
abnormal sexuality MY lecture notes
• “ anatomy is destiny” fraud advocated it
o He believed that our biological sex body provides the basis for some
development in terms of our sexuality. He didn’t say it was biologically
deterministic, in fact he said it was the environment that played a role in
acquiring our gender
o The father of psycho-analysis
o Believed sex and gender identity develop in the mind
• Fraud and his influence on our culture
o We have Freudian type of culture
o Born in 1880 and developed his ideas in the 1990’s ( Victorian) this is a
time where the people are very repressed sexually
o The people of the time didn’t like him because he wasn’t in the context in
the time of their sexual morality
o Fraud began to question sexuality and how people develop into sexual
o He set out to understand how personally developed. He said that to be a fit
person your personality and gender sexuality should be developed
o How does a person develop into a gendered organism but first he needed
to figure out how people develop
o He argued that we are not completely aware of ourselves, that’s where he
talked about the split consciousness. He argued that he have a conscious
and unconscious self.
o Believed that it is within our subconscious that our idea, motive and desire
let loose and our conscious self has very very little access to the sub
o Split of the tongue is a common experience, its basically the repressed
subconscious that come