viernes, 17 de julio de 2009


This man was an Austrian Jew who graduated at the University of Viena getting a degree in Philosofy. However, his fervent passion for psychology and Freud’s work about Psychoanalysis made he dedicate himself to several investigation that concluded in a large number of books and articules after emigrating to the United States in 1939 once he was released from a concentration camp during the WWII. He also worked as a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago where he became the Director of the University of Chicago's Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, a place for treating children that suffered from an emotional disturbance commomly known as autism , in spite of not having an official degree of that branch.

Apart from this contibution, he wrote about the effects of fairy tales on children including Freudian psychology as well, in his master piece “The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales” (1976). In this book he analised children sexual anxiety and their aspiration of conciousness that at first sight seems to be something beastly -a represive model of socialization- but in fact at a subconciuos level is something beautiful.

Bettelheim also stressed the moralist importace of traditional fairy tales as a symbol that shapes the children psychic development regarding to aspects such as the beginnig “once upon a time...”that helps inserting the child into a fantasy world, the happy endings,odd numbers conveying the idea of fullness, the presence of heroes/heroines and the evils meaning ‘the bads are always punished and the goods always gain recognition’ and the fact of making children to be alert from people they never met before, among others matters.

In contrast,one of the issues he critisizes is the way many authors, Brothers Grimm for instance, introduce stories as a model of socilization. Some of them are expressed with much cruelty and this may affect the child generating psychological conflicts that probably lead to a number of dangers involved in developing conciousness.

Between the stories he took into account to argue his perspective it is worthy mentioning “Rapunzel”, “ The ThreeLittle pigs”, “Cinderella”, “ Little Red Riding Hood”, “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beaty”.

Despite of his great contributions Bruno Bettelheim committed suicide in 1990, accused of having abused and punished his patients apart from inventing academic achievements.

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