Posts Tagged ‘Freud’

Dismissing Freud – baby and bathwater time.

January 6, 2015

According to university student reports, Psychology students are now taught to dismiss Freud – that is, if they are even introduced to his name.  I see three problems with this,  Firstly, they lose the good bits such as  the concept of “Freudian Slips.”  Secondly, they miss the historical perspective – which can inform a properly sceptical view of current theories.  Thirdly, they miss the anthropological perspective, the link between the theories and the culture in which they were developed (for example, penis envy and castrtion fears in a society where men have social power and freedom of movement and body details are a taboo topic, what a surprise….)

The third point is a sad loss in our increasingly multicultural society:  If a woman seeks mental health support and comes of a very patriarchal and female-restricting society, would current approaches help her fit the social rôle her family expects, and would the health professionals be sufficiently aware of the problem to even consider offering culturally sensitive counselling?  I have the uncomfortable feeling that old-style Freudian would be more fitting for some groups – not just Muslim, consider  http://blogs.forward.com/sisterhood-blog/127114/why-jewish-women-are-wearing-burqas/ and assault on non-compliant http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2014/03/haredi-modesty-assault-woman-beaten-up-by-haredi-man-in-beit-shemesh-over-skirt-length-678.html

– our underlying WEIRD cultural  assumptions will challenge these families should they migrate here.

Should people be offered the option of psychiatric help to fit in with their sub-culture’s expectations for their rôle, rather than to achieve full mental health as our culture defines it?  To what extent would a Freudian approach help?

Breaking Dawn Part I – target audience?

December 12, 2011

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part I is getting poor reviews in the local press, but they  assume that it is a serious film.

Listening to teenagers planning a trip to see it – and they go less than quarterly, so it was a major choice – showed a more complex reality.  These are teenagers who watch and read anime,  who enjoyed “Van Helsing“, and who are mostly strong  English Literature students.  They have strong visual literacy and literary criticism skills, and appreciated Movie Bob’s analysis of the series.

Last Twilight film, they found that it really was better not to go all together – though they all wanted to go.  Some of the group ( a minority) were going with other friends, as they wanted to enjoy the romance (and skim over the plot holes and social issues) ;  most were going for a good laugh.  Not a good mix.

After the film, one of those who went for the laughs reported that “It was a hoot! … A total satire on romance and monster genres.   A laugh at least every 3 minutes.”  Adding to the intrinsic humour, audience participation as per “Mystery Science Theater 3000”  was enthusiastic and (in their group) appreciated.

They were left with one question:  was the satirical quality

(a) Accidental   (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes)

(b) Deliberate   (Top Secret (1984))

(c) Freudian    (Can you think of a film where the director, script writer, and cast all tried to play it straight – but their subconsciouses rebelled in synch?   Suggestions welcome …)

One can imagine the feelings of the romantics elsewhere in the theatre …

So, to increase audience viewing pleasure for Part II:  maybe the cinemas could organise separate theme  sessions – one for those who love sparkly vampires and one for  those who prefer “Then Buffy Met Edward” t-shirts.