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Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics, or Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics, (German: Totem und Tabu: Einige Übereinstimmungen im Seelenleben der Wilden und der Neurotiker) is a 1913 book by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, in which the author applies his work to the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and the study of religion.It is a collection of four essays inspired by the work of Wilhelm Wundt and Carl Jung and first published in the journal Imago (1912–13): "The Horror of Incest", "Taboo and Emotional Ambivalence", "Animism, Magic and the Omnipotence of Thoughts", and "The Return of Totemism in Childhood".
He credited Freud with providing a "compact survey" of the confusing state of research into totemism, but believed that it was difficult for psychoanalysts to deal with the subject because they could not base their conclusions on "first-hand experience", and that Freud attached too much importance to "the belief of totemistic acolytes that they are descendants of the totem animal." He criticized Freud's attempt to explain totemism through parallels with the "psychological life" of children, arguing that the analytical results Freud employed were of questionable accuracy and did little to provide a "solution of the problem of totemism", and that Freud failed to explain why the totem was represented as an animal.Similar restrictions exist between a father and daughter, but they only exist from puberty until engagement.In "Taboo and emotional ambivalence," Freud considers the relationship of taboos to totemism.Every clan has a totem (usually an animal, sometimes a plant or force of nature) and people are not allowed to marry those with the same totem as themselves.Freud examines this practice as preventing against incest.
"The Horror of Incest" concerns incest taboos adopted by societies believing in totemism.