I spoke last time about ‘Argonauts of the Western Pacific’, a description of life among the Trobriand Islanders, and particularly of the remarkable Kula system of ceremonial trading.
In ‘Sex and Repression in Savage Society’ he criticises the then relatively new discipline of psycho-analysis, on a number of grounds, but he starts by pointing out that Freud based his work mainly on observations of upper-middle classes families from Vienna, and was almost completely ignorant of other kinds of family and social structure, even within Europe, let alone the great variation that exists around the world, from the most primitive tribes to the wealthiest western nations, and that, if he had learnt about them, he would have reached very different conclusions.
Malinowski also challenges the founding myth of Freudian psycho-analysis, the Oedipal desire to replace the patriarch, by showing clearly, first that it could not have been a real event which created this supposed aspect of human culture, and secondly that the relations between one generation and the next are played out in far too many different ways, and were historically quite unlike the situations Freud studied, for there to be any such common cultural element in the human psyche.
I say 'shows' because he does. He doesn’t express doubt, take issue, shout, torture the terms until they scream, or throw dogmatic nonsense about; he simply states what he has observes and explains why Freud’s theories, the very basis of his psycho-analysis, are so deficient as to be worthless.
I can’t link to it, or even copy and paste, for technical reasons related to my rural idyll, but the books are at Project Gutenberg and are worth reading. Sex and Repression is quite short and readable, and much of the demolition is in the first pages.