Psychoanalytic theory refers to different schools of thought that all share the viewpoint that human behaviour is largely determined by unconscious motives and forces. It regards the individual as being made up of contradictory and dynamic parts that lead to inner conflicts. It was initially developed by Sigmund Freud and has been modified and revised by a number of individuals, most notably Jacques Lacan, D.W. Winnicott, Wilfred Bion, and Melanie Klein. While largely ignored in empirical media research, psychoanalysis has been taken up by film studies scholars when examining ideology and filmic representations and how they affect audiences. This entry further describes psychoanalysis, discusses how it has been used in film studies, and looks at critiques of psychoanalysis as a theory and method.

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) ...

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