Sigmund always consider the fact of effects in

Sigmund Freud’s psychodynamic theory
is about how to explore a person unconscious thoughts and emotions so from
there we can have a better understanding about him/her consciousness. The main
focus of the Freudian theory is that we can have a better understating of the
consciousness. So it can be seen that the part that many anthropologists were
interested in, is the part of the conscious and the unconscious of the mind.

This can be due that anthropologist have been interested in interpreting
symbolic expressions, the role they play in emotional experiences, the creation,
fantasy, psychic conflict, and most important for them as anthropologist how
culture and other contexts shape these areas. 
These can be for example the interpretation of myth, rituals, their
symbolic content or the relationship between symbolism, gender, sexuality and
unconscious. Anthropologist always consider the fact of effects in social
change, stability and globalization in their interpretation. Anthropologists
are also interested in cultural psychodynamics “the study of the complex
relationship between the subject, the variation of individual subjective
experience, and the sociocultural context in which these processes are
embedded”. So we can say that Anthropologists are interested in Freud’s
psychodynamic theory of the mind because it helps them interpreting the meaning
of different cultures.

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From many research of anthropologist,
we can say that anthropologist used both the psycho-dynamic themes and
socio-cultural themes in the cases of the Tallensi of Ghana and the Ndembu of
Zambia to get a better understating of their cultural symbolism. The case of
the Tallensi, the people in the north of Ghana, we can see that in their
culture the descent and inheritance pass from father to the first born son. In
Tallensi a man after marry must have a son to achieve his psychological and
cultural needs. After the parents die the replacement with the first born child
and the second born daughter is a very dramatic ritual. In this case the
anthropologist tried understand the symbolism of the Tallensi by first gather
information about their socio-culture and then tried to understand their
cultural symbolism by using the psycho-dynamic themes with the help of the conscious
and the unconscious of the mind. In the case if the Ndembu of Zambia we can see
that the main ritual symbolism are a set of many symbolic objects that are the
same in many rituals, these can be the colours, trees and plants. In one ritual
there could be more than one symbolic object. So there are many symbolic
objects in one ritual and it would be difficult to detect what is the ritual
about if one symbolic object can have a range of meanings. The symbols are
related with the people of Ndembu in such a way that during the ritual there
can be something related with some people of this culture, so here we can see
the combination with the socio-cultural and psycho-dynamic because the ritual
are related to the “gut feelings” and the emotion of any individual forming
part of this culture. So we can say that cultural symbols are used to define
the interplay between cognition and the emotion with the theory of Freud, more
specific the theory of the unconscious and the conscious.


Jack David Eller in his book “Cultural
Anthropology: Global Forces, Local Lives” he defined Cultural ontology as the
society is a system of individuals with structured relationships that are
informed and shaped by beliefs and value and meanings. An example of cultural
ontology by anthropologists is, that not all of them believe that one’s sex is
immutably set at birth and not all societies conclude that there are only two
kinds, even two kinds of humans. Here anthropologist specific society’s
understanding of what kinds of beings, including human beings and what
qualities they own, and how society should use those differences. Although
gender has a lot to do with the biological approach, Anthropologist and
biologist agree with this contribution and that this have an effect on who we
are, but also it can be said that culture have also in influence on our gender.

This is because the society have an influence on how humans (from children to
adults) express their gender. Psychological anthropology makes a distinction
between “nature” and “nurture” this is because every human has a different
nature and this would influence his outcome. The cultural ontology can help to
identify diversity of sexualities and genders in each culture and in the world
by identify sexes or genders based on physical traits, other then physical
traits. In different cultures we can find “third gender” in many Native
American societies, biological men adopt norms associated with female known as Berdache.

In India, biological men deny their sexuality and become socially neither male
or female this is known as Hijra and in Brazil an alternate gender role in
which males take on certain physical traits and sexual behaviors typically
associated with females known as Travesti. Obviosly each culure has each own.

Eller’s idea of cultural ontology that a
“society is a system of human individuals in some structured relationships with
each other, relationships that are informed and shaped by beliefs and values
and meanings.” We can see that wherever we find humans, we find males and
females. Sexual dimorphism (the occurrence of two discrete body forms based on
sex) would seem to be a natural and biological feature of human existence.

Freud’s his sexual theory is one the most famous theory. He explained almost
all unusual psychological aspects with references to sexual desire. So
combining both the Freud’s idea of sexual desire and Eller’s idea of cultural ontology
we can see that Eller supports Freud’s idea. We can see for example that
rituals can symbolize different meanings such as they can serve as a sexual
desire or bonding with each other.