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From Ah Q to Lei FengFreud and Revolutionary Spirit in 20th Century China$
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Wendy Larson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804700757

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804700757.001.0001

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Psychology and Freudian Sexual Theory in Early 20th Century China

Psychology and Freudian Sexual Theory in Early 20th Century China

(p.31) Two Psychology and Freudian Sexual Theory in Early 20th Century China
From Ah Q to Lei Feng
Stanford University Press

Modern psychology first came into China through a context of educational reform. The work of Kubota Sadanori, Hattori Unokichi, Joseph Haven, Ruric Nevel Roark, and Harald Höffding provided the framework for studying and understanding the mind. This chapter examines the introduction of modern psychology and Freudian psychoanalysis in China, focusing on the notions of the unconscious, sexual desire, theory of the mind, and subjectivity. It looks at the arguments of Gao Juefu (1896–1993), China's most famous psychological researcher, against the primacy of both sexual desire and the unconscious in Freud's theories. It also comments on the debate between Zhang Jingsheng (1889–1970), dubbed “Dr. Sex,” and Zhou Jianren (1888–1984) regarding sexual desire. Finally, the chapter discusses Freudian theory in relation to Chinese literature in the 1920s and 1930s and in post-Mao China.

Keywords:   China, modern psychology, Freudian psychoanalysis, sexual desire, unconscious, Zhang Jingsheng, Zhou Jianren, Gao Juefu, Chinese literature, theory of the mind

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