University of Amsterdam | Abram de Swaan presents Sigmund Freud | AISSR Great Thinkers Series, The uses of Freud for social science: a personal account’, 20 november, 2018

Anthropologists and sociologists usually quote Sigmund Freud’s works on culture, religion and art, civilization and its discontents being the most important among them.

But Freud was, of course, also a practician who applied his own invention, ’the talking cure’: psychoanalytic therapy. And he was one of the great connaisseurs of the human psyche.

These more mundane and clinical aspects of Freud’s work even today have great practical implications for social science. Most useful for empirical work are his central concepts of ’transference’ and ‘countertransference’, as well as ‘repression’ and ‘defense’. All these notions have been transformed since Freud first proposed and applied them. In this presentation, De Swaan discusses how some kindred authors used Freud’s ideas and methods and how De Swaan went about it in his own work (especially on genocidal perpetrators). View here