Life in the Roaring Twenties Questions and Answers

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How did Sigmund Freud impact 1920's America?

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Mary Sutton eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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Going off of the second educator's assessment, I think it's important to look at how jazz relates to Freud's ideas about sex.

Freud was, arguably, a proud sensualist who believed that every part of the body offered erotic pleasure. The introduction of jazz and how people danced to the music—popular dances included the Charleston and the Black Bottom—encouraged a loosening of the body. Dance partners also danced in closer proximity compared to previous eras. This greater attention to the body, women's willingness to expose parts of it in A-line dresses, and the habit of adorning their bodies with beads that offered both tactile and aural stimulation, validates some of what Freud was saying about people having a kind of polymorphic eroticism.

Freud also believed that fantasy was important to sexuality, even the presence of "perverse," or unconventional, scenarios. Arguably, Weimar Berlin has the better reputation for "loose" sexual mores compared to any major American city....

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mkcapen1 | Student

Sigmund Freud led the way for what we now identify as psychotherapy.  He was the fist man to create a therapeutic ideal for a mental patient. It was the first system of the first system of psychoanalytic psychology. Freud performed studies on neurosis, hysteria, self-analysis, and created the idea of the Id, Ego, and Super-Ego. 

Sigmund Freud is considered to be one of the great thinkers of his day and the father of psychotherapy.  Other areas that he impacted were his addressing psychosexual issues, dream interpretation, defense mechanisms, and psychosis. He created theories on personality development and the stages of development. He laid down the foundation for others such as young to follow and develop upon.  Prior to Freud's studies and publications mental health existed as a unit in a asylum where patients were sedated and lived in filth clumped together in cages and dorms like animals.  They did not receive therapy and some even believed their disorders to have been caused by the devil.