Anna Green
Search for other papers by Anna Green in
Current site
Google Scholar
Kathleen Troup
Search for other papers by Kathleen Troup in
Current site
Google Scholar
Psychoanalysis and history
in The houses of history
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

One of the most controversial areas of historiography has been the use of psychoanalysis for understanding historical personalities, groups, or trends. This chapter focuses on the use of psychoanalysis in history. Psychoanalytic theory was developed by Sigmund Freud in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Freud's theory has sometimes been seen as deterministic, in that he saw an adult as a product of a small group of people, the family, who interpreted the nature of society for her or him. Erik Erikson's theory of ego psychology, developed in the United States, suggested fruitful amalgamations of history and psychoanalysis. According to Peter Loewenberg, ego psychology and character analysis are particularly important and welcome to historians because they are based on the evidence of adult behaviour. Psychoanalytic approaches can explain more than the irrational in history. Many historians are committed to explanations based on individual or group self-interest.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

The houses of history

A critical reader in history and theory, second edition


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 458 102 8
Full Text Views 386 13 2
PDF Downloads 466 21 3