Oedipus complex

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Oedipus complex,

Freudian term, drawn from the myth of OedipusOedipus
, in Greek legend, son of Laius, king of Thebes, and his wife, Jocasta. Laius had been warned by an oracle that he was fated to be killed by his own son; he therefore abandoned Oedipus on a mountainside.
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, designating attraction on the part of the child toward the parent of the opposite sex and rivalry and hostility toward the parent of its own. It occurs during the phallic stage of the psycho-sexual development of the personality, approximately years three to five. Resolution of the Oedipus complex is believed to occur by identification with the parent of the same sex and by the renunciation of sexual interest in the parent of the opposite sex. Freud considered this complex the cornerstone of the superego and the nucleus of all human relationships. Many psychiatrists, while acknowledging the significance of the Oedipal relationships to personality development in our culture, ascribe love and attraction toward one parent and hatred and antagonism toward the other not necessarily to sexual rivalry but to resentment of parental authoritarian power.

Oedipus Complex

the unconscious wish of little boys to kill the father and marry the mother (from the Greek legend of King Oedipus). This is regarded as integral to the Phallic Stage in FREUD's psychodynamic theory of development.

Freud suggested that between three and five years old a boy develops sexual jealousy of his father, and since his wishes cannot be realized in fact, he resolves the situation by realizing them vicariously through identifying with his father. This IDENTIFICATION involves internalizing the perceived moral standards of the father, thus forming the SUPEREGO. The obverse of the Oedipus Complex, for the little girl, is the Electra Complex, involving the unconscious wish to kill the mother and marry the father, though the term Oedipus Complex is generally used for both sexes.

Though the theory still has credibility among some psychoanalysts, feminist psychodynamic theorists have proposed other explanations for the development of the superego. Freud's theory was not a satisfactory explanation of female personality development. CHODOROW (1978) suggests that when gender awareness develops (between three and five years) a boy needs to differentiate from his mother with whom he has had a close physical and emotional identity. He therefore develops ways of coping with feelings of insecurity and a veneer of independence. A little girl does not have this need to differentiate, therefore she continues modelling on her mother and is thereby assisted in developing a mature personality. See also KRISTEVA, NARCISSISM.

Oedipus complex

[′ēd·ə·pu̇s ‚käm‚pleks]
(psychology)
In psychoanalytic theory, the attraction and attachment of the child to the parent of the opposite sex, accompanied by feelings of envy and hostility toward the parent of the child's sex, whose displeasure and punishment the child so fears that the child represses his or her feelings toward the parent of opposite sex.

Oedipus complex

Psychoanal a group of emotions, usually unconscious, involving the desire of a child, esp a male child, to possess sexually the parent of the opposite sex while excluding the parent of the same sex
References in periodicals archive ?
Significantly, such a recognition of the intersubjective foundation of the self has led psychoanalytic debate away from issues of Oedipal conflict and sexual repression to a concern with the earlier pre-Oedipal period and disturbances in ego-formation.
Also, there would be no oedipal conflict if most of the emotions involved were not unconscious and thus did not reveal themselves to the subject indirectly -- that is to say in displaced, symbolic and usually polarized form.
To what extent is the so-called Oedipal conflict or complex primarily or exclusively a wish to erotically possess mother and to get rid of daddy?
In subsequent years Freud divided his "presexual" period into oral, anal, and genital stages of development and focused especially on the Oedipal conflict in which, Freud claimed, little boys want to incestuously possess their mothers and kill their fathers.
Steiner is especially good on Creon's "war-truth"; on the male-female conflict and the case for feminism at the heart of the battle between Creon and Antigone; on connections between language and politics; on the Sophoclean sense of menace and transcendence; on the way fathers instigate Oedipal conflict by killing their sons (not only Haemon but, here, Creon's lost son, of the "Ode on Man" the play's great second chorus which sings human grandeur as a tragic mix of monstrosity and might.
Le Fils naturel, viewed in the light of its associated metatext, ceases to be a triumphant celebration of secular ethics; the play is undercut by the contrasting vision of events formed by other characters, and unresolved tensions and jealousies are revealed in Dorval, whose play lets him re-enact unresolved incestuous tendencies and who also relives an Oedipal conflict with his father for control of the narrative.
Blos (1985) supported the traditional interpretation of the initial, childhood resolution of the Oedipal conflict.
Boyarin offers an all-embracing explanation for Freud's controversial switch from the seduction theory to the theory of instinctual infantile sexuality as well as his development of the "phallic" ideas of oedipal conflict, castration anxiety, and penis envy.
In his stories Zheng has created a series of memorable characters, among them a teenage boy caught in an Oedipal conflict with his mean and cruel father, a backwoods "knight-errant" named Three Kick Chen, an Oroqen girl torn between her vague longing for a mysterious man on the run and her love for her grandfather who loyally but futilely guards a timber depot, an old man risking his life in a flood to salvage an earthenware pot that turns out to be empty, and an Oroqen man who is alienated from his own tribal tradition but cannot accept modern civilization, symbolized by the clock.
In assuring me further, however, that I know nothing of the oedipal conflict as a current psychoanalytic concept, Valeri enlarges on what he said in his paper, as if saying it louder might convince me.
This approach maintains the book's focus on gender psychology, but it does not shed much light on the crucial question of why elite thinkers became preoccupied with a spiritual Oedipal conflict in the late sixteenth century.
Within a psychoanalytical framework, menstrual symptoms are often associated with difficulty in accepting femininity and sexuality, which in turn is related to the Oedipal conflict.