The Unconscious Significance of Hair  book cover
1st Edition

The Unconscious Significance of Hair

ISBN 9781032170510
Published December 27, 2021 by Routledge
114 Pages

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Book Description

Originally published in 1951, the implications of this book were thought to be far wider and deeper than its title suggests.

'Hair-activities are chosen merely as a sample of uncritically accepted human behaviour. The author then proceeds to examine them very carefully in the light of dreams, anthropology, folklore, symptoms and perversions. He shows them to be an expression of instinct-driven tensions and conflicts. The popular illusion that they are determined by reason or adaption to reality is exploded.

The corollary is inescapable; if in this innocent particular our thoughts and behaviour are symptomatic expressions of an unconscious conflict or complex, how much more psychopathic would our more significant ideas, beliefs, institutions, customs and laws prove to be on similar detailed investigation! Is, therefore, our self-expression in life and civilization nothing more than a symptom, identical in its source and mechanism with the symptoms of nervous and mental illness?

The book is really a psychiatric criticism of normality based upon a chosen item of typically normal behaviour. It is, however, written in a way that will be easily understood by every intelligent reader.'

This book is a re-issue originally published in 1951. The language used is a reflection of its era and no offence is meant by the Publishers to any reader by this re-publication.

Table of Contents

Preface.  1. Introductory  2. Normal Hair-Behaviour  3. Clinical Evidence of the Unconscious Significance of Hair  4. Anthropological Evidence of the Unconscious Significance of Hair  5. Evidence from Folklore and Legend of the Unconscious Significance of Hair  6. Can the Unconscious Significance of Hair be Traced to a Pre-genital Level?  7. Evidence from Erotic Perversions or Fetishism  8. Application of these Theories to Some Additional Material  9. The Source and Mechanism of Normal Hair-Behaviour.  Glossary.  Index.

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Charles Berg (1892-1957)


‘Dr Berg, with a wealth of relevant allusion, literary, biological, and anthropological, proves convincingly that hair is not only a prominent link in the chain which forges personality, but that it is also one of the most significant features in the psychopathology of everyday life.’ – Medical World