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PSYB30H3 (495)
Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Notes

17 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB30H3
Professor
Marc A Fournier

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Chapter 11: The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today
PSYB30
We believe there is meaning to the stories we tell about ourselves
But people often lie to others and themselves, how can we interpret the stories we
tell about ourselves
Freud believed stories about life are designed to trick listener
oJung believed stories are filled with symbols and myths
oAdler focused on the beginning and end of life narratives
In last part of 20th century, theorists looked to culture, social structure and other
complex forces in social environment to help interpretation
All theorists agree that people's stories are not what they seem
FREUDIAN INTERPRETATION
Believed that meaning of our lives and stories about them are hidden and
unconscious
oOf most importance is unconscious sexual and aggressive urges
Oedipus Complex: Young children have unconscious sexual feelings towards one
parent, and aggressive ones towards the others
oIs common pattern of sexuality and aggression in people's lives, according to
Freud
Freud believed Oedipus story is fundamental story for making sense of life
THE STORY OF OEDIPUS
Oedipus Rex was tragic drama written by Sophocles
Oedipus was king of Thebes, once saved Thebans by solving riddle
oHe unknowingly committed patricide and incest (killed father and made love
to his mother)
Jocasta becomes his mother and wife
Oedipus was left to die b/c it was foretold he would kill his father and marry his
mother. He attempted to move cities to avoid the prophecy, but ended up moving
back to where he was originally from
Jocasta hangs herself after knowing truth, and Oedipus gauges his eyes out
Oedipus commits crimes without knowing truth (i.e. unconsciously)
Young boy unconsciously wants mother at phallic stage
oInvests libido, into mother
Castration anxiety: Fear that ones penis will be cut off, fear that he will lose his
power and love object
oThreat of man that stands in way of boy, threatens to castrate boy
oLeads to unconscious wish to kill father
Oedipus complex is resolved when boy identities with father, to have mom
vicariously
oHis is a defeat for boy, loss of power
oHowever, gains wisdom and maturity
At the end of Oedipus complex, we get superego (morals)
www.notesolution.com
Chapter 11: The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today
PSYB30
We have tendency to repress instincts and establish institutions of social
organization instead (e.g. government)
Freud argued according to Totem and Taboo (speculative account of human history)
that primal hordes were lead by autocratic father
oAutocratic father kept women for his use and didnt let younger men touch
them (b/c of instinct)
oYoung men rebelled and killed father, and ate him
Eating him is symbol of identification w/ father
oNew ruling young men made rules that made free sexual expression, incest
and rules to control instinctual impulses
Girls blame mother for lack of power (penis)
oPenis Envy: Oedipal girl's unconscious disappointment for lack of penis, a
lack of power
Girl's resolve Oedipal complex by shifting attraction to father and later identifying
with mother
Girls don't have castration anxiety, aren't in hurry to resolve Oedipus complex
oOedipal complex cam go on for a long time in girls
After Oedipus complex follows superego, so Freud thought women developed weaker
superegos (weaker morals)
Some argue penis envy isn't literal, is only want for power. Others argue Oedipus
complex is product of culture rather than instinct
Oedipus complex is usually solved by moving object of desire to identification with
other parent
Oedipus complex is affected by biological and unconscious differences between people
There is no empirical evidence that all children in preschool years go through
Oedipus complex
oRather, Freud discovered a narrative script that some people have
Oedipus complex is about how people struggle to live out desires of love and power,
their failure to do this, and the sacrifices needed to live in harmony
oAlso, we can love and hate someone, young men compete for women, and
young rebels become authorities themselves
AN ALTERNATIVE TAKE ON OEDIPUS: CHODOROWS GENDER THEORY
Chodorow reinterpreted Oedipus complex for feminist view
Said all mothers care for children more than men, biological and socially
Children grow up in male dominant, but father-absent family
By 3 or 4, children have basic idea that they are male or female
oGet this idea from mom who relates differently to girls and boys
oMothers identify with girls and are closer to them, boys are socialized to be
independent
Chodorow argued that girls dont give up attachment to mom, even when they
become attached to their father
oSo Oedipal resolution is complex and prolonged
www.notesolution.com
Chapter 11: The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today
PSYB30
Gender identity is developed in relation to mom for girls
oFeminine self is defined through connectedness with mother
Gender identity is developed in opposition to dad for boys
oThey acquire roles of father, but arent that close
oMasculine self is defined through guessing what a man should be like
Girls will experience themselves as more related others, while boys experience
themselves as separate and different from others
Experiences in family life prepare girls to want to mother, and boys for impersonal
work
A CASE OF OEDIPAL DYNAMICS: THE DEATH OF YUKIO MISHIMA
Yukio Mishima was successful Japanese novelist that committed suicide at age 46 in
1970
oOedipus complex offers explanation
Drove to army base and took general hostage, made general give speech, and then
Mishima committed gruesome suicide with samurai dagger
oHe rehearsed this with his four students for a long time
Mishima rehearsed this himself in stories he wrote and in fantasies
Was enormously successful, talented and happy
Notable elements in life:
1.When he was a month and one-half old, his paternal grandma took him into her
dark sickroom, isolated him there until he was 12
2.Became obsessed with fantasies of heroism and death. Fascinated by night soil
man, tragic young mans body whos is constantly works with excrement (a symbol
of death)
3.Had homosexual taste for muscular young men
4.Married Yuko Sugiyama, was happy during 13 years, raised two children
5. In late 1950s said writing was cowardly escape for reality. Distinguished between
word and act. Words were bad, can only be hero through action of strong body.
6.Had rigorous weightlifting routine, and connected weightlifting with death
7.Created private army called Shield Society, dedicated to patriotism in Japan and
emperor. Were college students, also helped him commit seppuku (ritual suicide) in
November 1970
Author believes psychological meaning of Mishimas suicide is a confusion between
having and being
oIn Freudian terms, is confusion between object choice and identification
Object choice: Unconscious desire to want another person in powerful and sensual
way
oWant to invest libido/sexual person in other person
oWants to own other person, wants them to be exclusive object
oThis is how boys relate to their mother, and girls to their father in Oedipus
complex
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 11: The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today PSYB30 We believe there is meaning to the stories we tell about ourselves But people often lie to others and themselves, how can we interpret the stories we tell about ourselves Freud believed stories about life are designed to trick listener o Jung believed stories are filled with symbols and myths o Adler focused on the beginning and end of life narratives In last part of 20th century, theorists looked to culture, social structure and other complex forces in social environment to help interpretation All theorists agree that peoples stories are not what they seem FREUDIAN INTERPRETATION Believed that meaning of our lives and stories about them are hidden and unconscious o Of most importance is unconscious sexual and aggressive urges Oedipus Complex: Young children have unconscious sexual feelings towards one parent, and aggressive ones towards the others o Is common pattern of sexuality and aggression in peoples lives, according to Freud Freud believed Oedipus story is fundamental story for making sense of life THE STORY OF OEDIPUS Oedipus Rex was tragic drama written by Sophocles Oedipus was king of Thebes, once saved Thebans by solving riddle o He unknowingly committed patricide and incest (killed father and made love to his mother) Jocasta becomes his mother and wife Oedipus was left to die bc it was foretold he would kill his father and marry his mother. He attempted to move cities to avoid the prophecy, but ended up moving back to where he was originally from Jocasta hangs herself after knowing truth, and Oedipus gauges his eyes out Oedipus commits crimes without knowing truth (i.e. unconsciously) Young boy unconsciously wants mother at phallic stage o Invests libido, into mother Castration anxiety: Fear that ones penis will be cut off, fear that he will lose his power and love object o Threat of man that stands in way of boy, threatens to castrate boy o Leads to unconscious wish to kill father Oedipus complex is resolved when boy identities with father, to have mom vicariously o His is a defeat for boy, loss of power o However, gains wisdom and maturity At the end of Oedipus complex, we get superego (morals) www.notesolution.comChapter 11: The Interpretation of Stories: From Freud to Today PSYB30 We have tendency to repress instincts and establish institutions of social organization instead (e.g. government) Freud argued according to Totem and Taboo (speculative account of human history) that primal hordes were lead by autocratic father o Autocratic father kept women for his use and didnt let younger men touch them (bc of instinct) o Young men rebelled and killed father, and ate him Eating him is symbol of identification w father o New ruling young men made rules that made free sexual expression, incest and rules to control instinctual impulses Girls blame mother for lack of power (penis) o Penis Envy: Oedipal girls unconscious disappointment for lack of penis, a lack of power Girls resolve Oedipal complex by shifting attraction to father and later identifying with mother Girls dont have castration anxiety, arent in hurry to resolve Oedipus complex o Oedipal complex cam go on for a long time in girls After Oedipus complex follows superego, so Freud thought women developed weaker superegos (weaker morals) Some argue penis envy isnt literal, is only want for power. Others argue Oedipus complex is product of culture rather than instinct Oedipus complex is usually solved by moving object of desire to identification with other parent Oedipus complex is affected by biological and unconscious differences between people There is no empirical evidence that all children in preschool years go through Oedipus complex o Rather, Freud discovered a narrative script that some people have Oedipus complex is about how people struggle to live out desires of love and power, their failure to do this, and the sacrifices needed to live in harmony o Also, we can love and hate someone, young men compete for women, and young rebels become authorities themselves AN ALTERNATIVE TAKE ON OEDIPUS: CHODOROWS GENDER THEORY Chodorow reinterpreted Oedipus complex for feminist view Said all mothers care for children more than men, biological and socially Children grow up in male dominant, but father-absent family By 3 or 4, children have basic idea that they are male or female o Get this idea from mom who relates differently to girls and boys o Mothers identify with girls and are closer to them, boys are socialized to be independent Chodorow argued that girls dont give up attachment to mom, even when they become attached to their father o So Oedipal resolution is complex and prolonged www.notesolution.com
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