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Familialism is the ideology that promotes the family of the Western tradition as an institution.[1] Familialism is usually considered conservative or reactionary. Familialism advocates the family values of the Western tradition and usually opposes any other social forms and models that are alternative to such family values.

A typical trait of familialism is the obsessive insistence that normalcy resides in the nuclear family.[2]

The embracing of familialism by psychoanalysis[]

Deleuze and Guattari, in their now-classic[3][4][5] 1972 book Anti-Oedipus, stated that psychiatry and psychoanalysis, since their incept, have been affected by an incurable familialism, which is their ordinary bed and board. Psychoanalysis has never escaped from this, having remained captive to an unrepentant familialism.[6]

Michel Foucault said that through familialism, psychoanalysis completed and perfected what the psychiatry of 19th century insane asylums had set out to do; and that it enforced the massive structures of bourgois society and its values: Family-Children (paternal authority), Fault-Punishment (immediate justice), Madness-Disorder (social and moral order).[7][8] Deleuze and Guattari added that "the familialism inherent in psychoanalysis doesn't so much destry classical psychiatry as shine forth as the latter's crowning achievement,"[9] and that since the 19th century, the study of mental illnesses and madness has remained the prisoner of the familial postulate and its correlates.[10]

Through familialism, and the psychoanalysis based on it, the clear habit is to posit the guilt upon the family's smallest member, the child, and absolve the parental authority.[11]

According to Deleuze and Guattari, among the psychiatrist only Karl Jaspers, and then Ronald Laing, have escaped familialism.[12] This was not the case of the culturalist psychoanalysts, which, despite their conflict with orthodox psychoanalysts, had a "stubborn maintenance of a familialist perspective," still speaking "the same language of a familialized social realm".[13]


  1. Anne Revillard (2006 ) Work/Family Policy in France International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 2006 20(2):133-150
  2. Kauffman, Linda (1992) Framing Lolita: Is There a Woman in the Text? (1992), p. 161
  3. Arthur Redding (1997) God the linguist teaches us to breathe: Ivan Blatný's English poems
  4. Mindy Badía, Bonnie L. Gasior (2006) Crosscurrents: transatlantic perspectives on early modern Hispanic drama p. 144
  5. Emma L. Jeanes and Christian De Cock (2005) Making the Familiar Strange: A Deleuzian Perspective on Creativity, University of Exeter, Creativity and Innovation Management Community Workshop, 23-24 March 2005, Oxford
  6. Deleuze and Guattari (1972) Anti-Oedipus pp. 101-2, 143, 181, 293, 304, 393
  7. Deleuze and Guattari (1972) Anti-Oedipus p. 102
  8. Michel Foucault [1961] The History of Madness, Routledge 2006, pp.490-1, 507-8, 510-1
  9. Deleuze and Guattari (1972) Anti-Oedipus pp.293
  10. Deleuze and Guattari (1972) Anti-Oedipus pp.393
  11. Deleuze and Guattari (1972) Anti-Oedipus p.304
  12. Deleuze and Guattari (1972) Anti-Oedipus p.143
  13. Deleuze and Guattari (1972) Anti-Oedipus pp.189-1

See also[]

  • Traditional authority

Further reading[]

External links[]

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