Psychoanalysis, Transnationalism and National Habitus: A Comparative Approach to the Reception of Psychoanalysis in Argentina and Brazil (1910s–1940s)

  • Mariano Ben Plotkin
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series book series (PMSTH)


Psychoanalysis is a clear example of a transnational system of thought. Since its creation in late imperial Vienna at the end of the nineteenth century, and particularly after World War II, the center of production and consumption of psychoanalysis has shifted, from continental Europe to the Anglo-Saxon world; and then in the 1960s, to the Latin world (France, but particularly Latin America). In the early 1940s Ernest Jones, then the president of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), told members of the newly created Argentine Psychoanalytic Association that the German language was yielding its place to English as the official language of psychoanalysis. Today Spanish and French are probably the main languages in which psychoanalysis (particularly in its Lacanian version) is produced, discussed and practiced. This displacement from one continent to another and from one language to another had an impact not only on psychoanalysis as a body of thought and as a system of beliefs, but also on the different cultural spaces in which it took roots and developed.1


Nineteenth Century National Identity Latin American Study Political Polarization Oedipus Complex 
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  1. 1.
    In recent years there has been an impressive production of scholarship on the diffusion of psychoanalysis in different countries. What follows is only a small sample of it. For the diffusion of psychoanalysis in France, see Elisabeth Roudinesco, La bataille de cent ans: L’histoire de la psychanalyse en France, 2 vols. (Paris: Seuil, 1986)Google Scholar
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© Mariano Ben Plotkin 2009

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