Beyond the ‘sphincter-morality’: the concept of childhood in interwar psychoanalysis

This seminar will focus on perceptions of childhood in interwar British and European psychoanalysis.

  • Wed 15 Nov 17

    17:00 - 19:30

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Dr Shaul Bar-Haim, Department of Sociology

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of

  • Contact details

    Debbie Stewart

Ferenczi and A. Freud shared the same developmental tradition, namely both saw an inevitable chronological gap between adults and children – a gap that violently shapes the power-relations between them.

That led Ferenczi to believe that he could help some patients undergo a process of ‘de-education’ in order to constitute a less severe super-ego than the one that was designed in their early childhood.

By contrast, Anna Freud, who treated mainly children, sought ways to make psychoanalysis a major tool in the educational process itself. Klein, I argue, challenged both of them by proposing to concentrate on the synchronic and timeless elements in the structures of children’s and adults’ minds, in contrast to the diachronic perspective that dominated early Freudianism.

The Speaker

Shaul Bar-Haim is a lecturer of psychosocial studies in our Department of Sociology. He is currently working on a monograph about the role of the British psychoanalytical movement in creating a maternalist culture in the age of the welfare state.

Part of this research was already published in Psychoanalysis & History, and History of the Human Sciences, as well as in a forthcoming article in History Workshop Journal. Shaul is also the Book Reviews Editor of Psychoanalysis and History.

Register your place 

Entry is free and open to all, please register online.



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