Taboo, Personal and Collective Representations : Origin and Positioning within Cultural Complexes book cover
1st Edition

Taboo, Personal and Collective Representations
Origin and Positioning within Cultural Complexes

ISBN 9780367660499
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

Taboo, Personal and Collective Representations examines the symbolic nature of taboo, asking what is the purpose of a taboo and how does it vary cross-culturally? The book focuses on the concept of taboo as an in-between, organizing principle which separates and differentiates stages through a ritual process of separation of order as clean/blessed from disorder as polluted/disassociated.

This book uses an interdisciplinary approach which compares the anthropological, ethnological, sociological, and depth psychological perspectives of renowned scholars in their examination of taboos. Unconscious/conscious taboos influence how we perceive transitional, indeterminate states across margins in the maturation and individuation processes. The book argues that a taboo embodies the perilous, symbolic meaning of such a rite of passage and that its emotional value and intensity in the form of symptomology varies across cultures.

Taboo, Personal and Collective Representations will be of great interest to researchers, academics and post-graduate students in the fields of anthropology, ethnology, origins of religion, race, gender, and depth psychology.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The nature of taboo in indigenous practices

Chapter 3: Taboo, order, disorder, abjection, and dirt.

Chapter 4: Totem and taboo, animal categories, and kinship structures

Chapter 5: The origin and positioning of incest taboo

Chapter 6: Taboo and emotional ambivalence

Chapter 7: Taboo, rites of passage, and indeterminate states

Chapter 8: Taboo, shamanism, and Jungian psychoanalysis

Chapter 9: Conclusion

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Elizabeth Brodersen is an accredited Training Analyst and Supervisor at the CGJI Z├╝rich. Elizabeth received her doctorate in Psychoanalytic Studies from Essex University, UK in 2014, and works as a Jungian Analyst in private practice in Germany and Switzerland.


"Dr Brodersen has taken a broad interdisciplinary approach to the fascinating subject of taboo to examine it from multiple angles, building on classic and modern treatments of the subject to introduce it into new areas of understanding. In particular, Brodersen carefully weaves together a tapestry on the subject that brings its many facets into view beautifully, showing just how relevant the topic is with respect to human development and psychodynamic clinical theory. Bringing an inclusive but also nuanced and precise approach to the subject of taboo, Brodersen presents an excellent interdisciplinary contribution to the study of ritual, religious/magical thinking and the mind."

Erik Goodwyn MD, Director, Psychotherapy Training, University of Louisville, USA.