Psychoanalysis in Buenos Aires: An Ethnographic Approach Open Access

Rao, Sam (Spring 2019)

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This thesis aims to accomplish two goals: (1) to explain how psychoanalytic discourse has been diffused in Buenos Aires and become an object of cultural consumption and (2) to analyze the multifamily, a type of group therapy session in psychoanalysis, via ethnographic examples in order to understand its function as treatment. Argentina as a nation has the world’s highest proportion of psychoanalysts, and the capital city of Buenos Aires is considered to be a global center for the discipline. I am interested in specifically how psychoanalysis works beyond the bi-personal relationship of the professional (analyst) and patient, more so in terms of the impact it has on the masses of Buenos Aires. My analysis of multifamily sessions serves to provide real-world examples of psychoanalytic treatment in action and dynamics at play during interactions between participants. Finally, I draw conclusions based on common themes derived from the examples and the broader impacts of the multifamily. 

Table of Contents

Introduction (1-2)

Biography of Freud (2-4)

Key Psychoanalytic Terms and Concepts (4-9)

History and Diffusion of Psychoanalysis in Buenos Aires (9-14)

Psychoanalysis as a Cultural Phenomenon (14-20)

History and Framework of the Multifamily (20-23)

Ethnography (23-37)

Conclusions (37-43)

Works Cited (44-47)

Appendix 1: Original Spanish Versions of Translated Quotes (48-49)

Appendix 2: Quantitative Estimate of the Number of Psychologists in Argentina (50)

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