In this book Eric Smadja explores the representations of society and culture that Freud developed in the course of his work. Distinct from contemporary sociological and anthropological conceptions, they led to his construction of a personal socio-anthropology that was virulently criticised by the social sciences. But what exactly is meant here by 'culture' and 'society'? Do we mean Freud's own Viennese society or Western, 'civilised' society in general? In addition, Freud was interested in historical and 'primitive' societies from the evolutionist perspective of the British anthropologists of his time. This book considers the interrelationship between these different societies and cultures, and raises many questions. What constitutes a culture? What are its essential traits, its functions, its relationships with society, with nature, and with other aspects of 'reality' or of the 'external world'? How did Freud construct the idea of culture? What roles does culture play in the development of the individual, in the construction and functioning of his or her psyche?