A Comparison Of Durkheim And Frued On Native American Cultur


A Comparison of Durkheim and Freud on Native American Culture
Emile Durkheim and Sigmund Freud have radically different views on Native American culture. Freud, a psychologist, believes "that our task to civilization is to defend us against nature." He thinks that there are superior powers in nature like fate that inflict undetermined influences upon society (Freud). On the other hand, Durkheim a sociologist believes "religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to scared things." He initiates community wholeness and individuality intermingled into social structures. As a result, Durkheim and Freud have opposing views on individual social interaction among Native ...

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bringing everyone together throughout the area. These bonding rituals reiterated Durkheim's belief that everyone belonged to a specific social structure rather than being an individual.
Thus, after the Native Americans performed the ritual, one became a new person on a higher level. A perfect example in Native American tradition is the act of worshipping a girl, contained within a circle and bringing healing powers to those who believe (Hanges). To succeed in life, one must access this power so he can become a part of the desired social structure.
Of course, Durkheim believed there was a fine line between the sacred and the profane. The sacred was something revered and could be anything from a tree, to a rock, to a building (Durkheim). Durkheim's philosophy is exemplified by the worship of the natives, since trees, rocks, and other objects are considered sacred. This shows that Native American sacred ways are ways of fulfilling life.
Besides explaining initiation rites ...

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of things such as rocks and trees as animate objects even though they lack animate qualities. Native Americans believe that animals are our brothers. They even imitate the animals with articles of clothing, such as feathers representing people who become birds. It gives them the ability of flight in their dreams (Hunter). According to Durkheim, this links the earth and animals and brings a faith community like Native Americans closer. Clearly, Durkheim agrees with Native American traditions, because of their initiation rites, their view on the sacred, the effervescence they receive, and their deep-rooted connection with the earth.
In direct contrast to Durkheim's philosophy, Sigmund ...

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Added: 10/12/2006 06:35:48 PM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1318
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