chapter  6
House Design and the Self in an African Culture
ByRobert A. LeVine, Sarah E. LeVine
Pages 24

The question of how culture may be interpreted as fantasy in the Freudian sense generated a variety of positions, particularly concerning which aspects of culture are amenable to such interpretation. For Roheim (1943) and others who identified themselves with Freud’s own position, no aspect of culture was too practical to be excluded from psychoanalytic interpretation. For revisionists like Kardiner (1939, 1945) and Whiting (Whiting and Child, 1953), culture was divisible into two parts, which Kardiner called primary and secondary institutions and Whiting called maintenance systems and projective systems. In each case, the first part included institutions, like subsistence patterns and household structure, that are linked to survival and adaptation and can be interpreted in ecological and socioeconomic terms; the second institutions, like religion and folklore, that provide collective media for the expression of personal fantasy and are amenable to a symbolic interpretation based on psychoanalysis.