Psychoanalysis is a subject of interest to investigators of consumer culture since the theory suggests that there are unconscious imperatives in our psyches that help explain our behavior in many realms, including the purchasing of products and services. The focus in this discussion is on Sigmund Freud's theories and their relevance to understanding consumer cultures.

Freud's Theories

In his 1922 essay “Psychoanalysis,” Freud explains the different areas of interest to psychoanalysis (reprinted in Philip Rieff: Character and Culture 1963, 230):

PSYCHOANALYSIS is the name (1) of a procedure for the investigation of mental processes which are almost inaccessible in any other way, (2) of a method (based upon investigation) for the treatment of neurotic disorders and (3) of a collection of psychological information gradually being accumulated into a ...

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