Melanie Klein and Anna Freud: the discourse of the early dispute.J Hist Behav Sci. 1996 Jan; 32(1):4-15.JH
Divisions in the field of the psychoanalysis of children can be traced to a dispute over the infantile super-ego between the theorists Melanie Klein and Anna Freud beginning in 1927. These divisions are understood within the analytic world as the result of scientific disputation between alternative valid theories. An examination of the language, claims, and epistemology of Klein's and Freud's publications in 1927 that marked the public commencement of the conflict, reveals a personalized discourse in which authority was derived from the allegiance, experience, and personal analytic standing of the contestants as much as from theoretical insight. The structure and rhetoric of the debate suggest that, rather than terminating the dispute, the publications of 1927 served to encourage professionalization in child analysis and establish Anna Freud and Melanie Klein as authoritative alternative theorists.