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These remains were enlisted to represent anxiety, guilt, and desires that were linked to the complexes of early childhood. These feelings were likely to be disguised in the manifest dream, for example through displacement sign substitutions , condensation sign combinations , or symbolization multifarious use of a single sign.

The disguise was necessary, according to Freud, because dreams operated to maintain sleep; desires could disturb it because they incited action toward satisfaction and anxiety. Desires might also incite anxiety and guilt because they were often in conflict with social mores or with the individuals self-esteem.

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Just as the senses conveyed only illusions in Descartess view of the dream, the manifest content was a ruse in Freuds view: its deformations and bizarre combinations were distractions from the dreams real meaning. The mid-twentieth century saw the formation of the Culture and Personality school in anthropology. Revolving around figures such as Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict, this school was interested in a range of personality theories and in how ethnography might contribute to and critique psychological theory. Meads Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies , for example, spun off of Jungs idea of psychological types ; b, Meads Coming of Age in Samoa, [] on the other hand, was both informed by and aimed as a critique of Freudian theory.

The Culture and Personality thinker who made the most significant contribution to dream studies was Dorothy Eggan. I review several of what I regard as her major ideas about dreams here both because of their importance in shaping anthropological studies of the dream that followed and because these ideas are directly linked to many of the themes of this volume. Like Mead, Eggan began by using ethnography, specifically her studies of the Hopi, to critique Freudian theory and its usage in anthropology.

Eggan criticized the oversimplified procedure of dream analysis that had been employed by psychoanalytic anthropologists who often made equation-like interpretations of dreams , In this endeavor, she quoted Freud to the effect that dreams possess many and varied meanings; so that, as in Chinese script, only the context can furnish the correct mean-. For Eggan, of course, the context was a culture, or more precisely an interrelational setting within a culture , an insight echoed in Vincent Crapanzanos afterward chapter Freud used free association to analyze the dream [] For Eggan, dreams in themselves are a from of projective phenomenon and represent a process of free association, both in sleep and after awakening , The dream report, then, by continuing the projective processes of the dream itself, embeds dreams ever further in cultural modes of narration and cultural meaning systems.

The manifest dream was composed of culturally derived symbols Eggan , Variant cultural experiences would lead dreamers to symbolize events quite differently and this might lead to differences in cultural symbol systems Eggan , Eggans interest in dreams anticipates the turn in anthropology toward a concern with cultures as meaning systems that became salient through the work of Lvi-Strauss.

Eggan tells us that the dream is a released image energy that creates a new inner world , Similarly, several authors herein argue that dreams speak a different language than the conscious mindthe language of the imaginationand investigate the nature of that language as it bears upon dreaming and the self.

Eggan believed that what transpires in dream narratives themselves affords a deeper understanding of culturally conditioned affects, particularly as regards the disharmony between the cultural ideal and what people actually experience in a culture , She saw the dream narrative as particularly useful in understanding culture change because of a distinct lag between peoples consciously held models of culture and their actual historical circumstances , Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5 also argue that dreams are continually forging symbolic bridges between these two.

According to Eggan, during the first half of the twentieth century the concept of culture had been intentionally restricted to exclude material pertaining to the individual as such , In more contemporary terminology, Eggan believed that dreams were a way toward person-centered ethnography and potentially offered insight as to the relation between culture and subjectivity.

Dreams allowed informants to talk about themselves in what they assumed to be a safely cryptic manner, which was nonetheless revealing of intense concerns and feelings they might not otherwise be willing to share with an itinerant anthropologist , Hopi tend to work out a personal delineation of their problems at the manifest level in dreams in surprisingly complete and honest detail and these problems are of more than passing concern to the individual Eggan , Anticipating Hall and Van de Castles method of content analysis , Eggan held that people had a pattern of dreaming that was uniquely their own and that dream series evinced themes that were seldom finished in one dream , By the mids, inspired by Geertzs brilliant explorations of personhood and culture, anthropologists turned toward local knowledge studying folk theories in culture as alternative knowledge systems.

This tack on dreaming and culture was wonderfully developed and illustrated in Tedlocks collection on dreaming As anthropologists studied dreams as local knowledge, they became increasingly aware of the part dreams played in communicative processes in culture and as a social performance, of either a ritual or an informal nature. The renewed emphasis on cultural relativism manifest in studying local ways of knowing was significant in cracking open Western universalistic paradigms in preference for studying cultures as unique casesunique instances of being human.

Visions of the Night: Dreams, Religion, and Psychology

Along with this emphasis, however, came a hesitancy among some researchers to read dreams as indicative of cultural psychology, particularly as indicative of psychological problems in cultures, which tended to be seen as disrespectful. But all cultures, I argue above, have psychological problematics; to suggest that these problematics exist is not to presume inferiority, but rather a dynamic and vital element in culture, which must be considered in person-centered ethnography.

The present volume considers psychological problematics and how studying cultures can provide anthropologists and others with new perspectives on dreaming and the self. Theories of the Self and Dreams As in prior work , , a , here I take self to be a domain term that refers to all aspects of being a person. Identity, on the other hand, is the cumulative result of affirming That is me and That is not me; it develops through acts of identification and disidentification with elements of internal experience and with persons, groups, and representations in the cultural world Mageo b; Mageo and Knauft Inasmuch as identity is that sense of self that derives from successive acts of identification, it is fluid and ever in transformation, and the transformations are effected in part, many of the authors in this volume argue, in dreams.

Recent anthropological insights about spirit possession Boddy ; Lambek , ; Mageo a that it is a venue in which to think through waking experience of a cultural and historical naturecan also be applied to the dream. Dreams progressively work through our experience as cultural beings and as.

How does dreaming, cross-culturally considered, reflect on prior theories of the self? Take, for example, George Herbert Meads idea that the self is composed of an I and a me. Meads I is the individual who feels, desires, wills, and acts. The me is the presence of social others within the self. The me endlessly offers its opinion about the I and dialogues with it. Who, then, is the self that acts in dreams? Is it the I? Are all other dream figures the me? This seems likely from L.

Vygotskys viewpoint. For Vygotsky, the childs internal life is an introjection of its social life: Every function in the childs development appears twice.


The people we meet in dreams would then be doubles or combinations of those we have related to first in social life some remembered, some forgotten in surface consciousness. It is unlikely, however, that dream figures are all actual people although they have relations to actual people ; they are also the characters who populate the world of stories in which we develop Mageo c.

This world of stories is interiorized in childhood, just as are social relations, and establishes the fundaments of our imaginations and our dreams Mageo , ; Miller, Fury, and Mintz If Meads concept of the me recognizes the presence of society in the constitution of the self, it nonetheless locates that self withinin internal events like feeling and thinking and in internal dialogues, rather than in social transactions.

Similarly, in Western cultures we place the dream within a persons head. Many of the peoples who anthropologists study, however, see dreams as an alternative social world, as much outside the person as a convivial party, even if what goes on there is often far from convivial. For them, dreams are the gate to a sphere inhabited, like our own, by powers and people with which and with whom they live and copeas is the dream world for Erika Bourguignons Haitians chapter 7. These peoples also locate the self in social role-playing rather than inside the person.

In Samoa, for example, agaga refers to the constitutive self believed to survive death and to travel in dreams. A persona is a face we show to others. Deriving from the masks of Roman theater, this word also refers to the role that goes with a particular mask. Like Samoans, the Quich Maya have a concept of the constitutive self as a non-corporal being that inhabits the body at birth and leaves in dreams or visions and at death. This self is said to be one of twenty possible faces Tedlock , , ; cf.

Mauss , The divergence reflected by variant folk models of the self was much discussed in late-twentieth-century anthropology and cross-cultural psychol-. Folk models of the person as a context-transcendent individual have been called egocentric; folk models of the person as an ensemble of social roles or personae have been called sociocentric. Carl Jung mapped the self in a manner that at first glance resembles more sociocentric folk modelsthat is, as multiple For Jung, at birth people were a vast sea of potentiality.

The work of the first half of life was to make portions of that potentiality into an actual self Jung This was accomplished by cultivating stronger aspects of self at the expense of otherssplitting off aspects less well favored by temperament, society, or family relations and coming to regard them as not me. Men split off an anima and women an animus, for example, when forming their gender identity. Despite disidentification, these archetypes remained important aspects of the self, although they operated independently of consciousness.

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Similarly, current constructionist theories suggest that the self is a complex system, composed of conscious subsystems that are integrated to a degree, but also of less conscious subsystems that may or may not remain separate from other parts of self-organization and function relatively. Jung , and Perls after him , thought that we encountered these parts in dreams. Thus, in classic EuroAmerican theories, even multiple views of the self tend to privilege a unitary selfor at least a self that is striving to be unitary.

Many ethnographers and cross-cultural psychologists have critiqued this model of the self and demonstrated that it is by no means universally prominent. Ewing shows that often these wholes include admired parts of others whom the person has encountered in social life. We meet these evanescent holistic selves in dreams, I suggest, as figures that are condensations of several people we have known in life or in fiction.

Visions of the Night: Dreams, Religion, and Psychology - Kelly Bulkeley - Google Libri

As in Bakhtins idea of heteroglossia , in dreams the self has multiple voices. These voices are those of people appropriated from waking life, who represent our own subself fragments. The dream is the self as other s , with whom we seldom have unproblematic relationships. Here the. In this regard, dream symbols are at once about the subject and the social world; everything in them has both allegiances. The self, then, is much larger than its conscious identifications; dreaming provides insight into the congeries of identities that it encompasses.

Combining Vygotskys and Jungs ideas, one might view the self as involving a continuing process of incorporating others to make an identity. In dreams this identity is then splintered into part selves who derive from these others and who carry our emotional reactions to them. Upon waking, the part selves we meet in dreams are projected back onto others, who later enter our dreams re-presenting our own feelings for usand so on ad infinium. Part 2: Revisioning the Self and Dreams Cultural psychologists and psychological anthropologists have long been interested in how the dreams manifest content reflects cultural and subcultural differences.

Cross-cultural psychologists investigated dreams quantitatively through Calvin Halls and Robert Van de Castles system of content analysis Domhoff , By and large, anthropologists investigated the manifest dream through qualitative and in-depth ethnographic studies that considered variability in belief systems and narrative practices surrounding dreaming in a culture. Ewing argues that the dream narrative itself updates culture.

As an example, she discusses the dream of the Seneca prophet Handsome Lake. Handsome Lake was instructed in dreams to change the matrilineal transmission of political office and status in his society into a patrilineal system so that it would better articulate with the Euro-American world in which the Seneca had come to live.

Dream narratives, Ewing believes, can be understood as offering analyses of a present social situation in the language of metaphor. Many peoples that anthropologists study believe in the predictive values of dreams. Just like any other good hypothesis, Ewing tells us, a good dream may have predictive value. There are forward looking and problem-solving dreams, as Jung argued.

Not all dreams are merely iterative of unresolved childhood conflicts, but are efforts to reposition the self in the social world and to constitute identities by fitting new experiences into existing narratives of self. In the dream, a Sufi saint feeds the dreamer spiritual food in an English basement.

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Ewing points out that basement apartments are typically where the economically disadvantaged live in England. The dream relates the mans current elevated religious identity with his dystonic identity experiences as a migrant. Transnational cultures are characterized by hybridity. Transnational dreams offer insight into how people are psychologically affected by and synthesize cultural incongruities.

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For Douglas Hollan, the reconfiguration of the self in dreams stems from an articulation of existing self schemas with daily experience chapter 4. These articulations take place in selfscape dreams. These dreams are the nightly news of the selfregistering within us the current state of our personhood, our body, and our relations with others.