Re-Visioning the American Psyche: Jungian, Archetypal, and Mythological Reflections

Re-Visioning the American Psyche
Jungian, Archetypal, and Mythological Reflections

Edited By Ipek S. Burnett
Copyright 2024

The United States is at a crossroads: Moving away from the stalemate of political polarization and culture wars requires reflection, critical thinking, and imagination. This book of collected essays brings together leaders in Jungian and archetypal psychology to forge this path by offering a comprehensive look at the American psyche.

Re-Visioning the American Psyche examines the myths, images, and archetypal fantasies ingrained in the collective consciousness and unconscious in the United States. The volume tends to manifest symptoms in political institutions, social conflicts, and cultural movements. Using various interpretative processes—from psychoanalytic to literary and to participatory—it reflects on the meaning of democratic participation, the psychological cost of wars and violence, intergenerational trauma due to racism, the emotional dimensions of political polarization, deep-seated oppositional thinking in patriarchal structures, frailty of the American Dream, and more.

With its rich scope, interdisciplinary scholarship, and critical engagement with historical and current affairs, this book will be of great interest to those in Jungian and depth psychology, as well as sociology, politics, cultural studies, and American studies. As a timely contribution with an international appeal, it will engage readers who are invested in better understanding psychology’s capacity to respond to social, cultural, and political realities.

Reviews

“Building on her brilliant cultural analysis in A Jungian Inquiry into the American Psyche, Burnett now brings together fifteen authors to reflect on a wide range of American topics from political polarization to intergenerational trauma to capitalism and patriarchy. With rigorous research, imagination, kaleidoscope insights and heartfelt expression, this collection confirms depth psychology’s potential to contribute to social responsibility. Interdisciplinary in nature, timely and timeless at once, this is a great contribution to Jungian studies and beyond.”
~ Andrew Samuels, author of The Political Psyche

“America is on the couch as never before in this splendid collection of essays edited by Ipek S. Burnett. The remarkable success of the collection is to achieve coherence with diversity, wide coverage of topics with depth of analysis, and combine different depth psychological lenses with ancient myth and twenty-first century suspicion of patriarchal and religious apologias. However, perhaps the most remarkable achievement of Re-Visioning the American Psyche is to make the good old USA into a case study of contemporary philosophical and political crises. Can democracy exist in systematically repressed psyches? Can the psyche exist if history is systemically falsified and social justice denied? Truly, this book demonstrates that Jungian psychology is a valuable critical lens across multiple social and humanities disciplines. Re-visioning the American Psyche is essential reading for anyone in America or who wants to understand Americans.”
~ Susan Rowland, core faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, author of C.G. Jung in the Humanities.

“Revisioning The American Psyche cannot be engaged with the mind alone but through the pores of our skin. Ipek S. Burnett has collected and arranged a number of essays that are designed to liberate us from traditional narratives about America that have permeated our psyche. The still quiet voice of care is awakened as we ask ourselves not only what it means to be a citizen of a differentiated humanity but how can caring manifest into collective action”
~ Robin McCoy Brooks, co-Editor-in-Chief of Intergenerational Journal of Jungian Studies and author of Psychoanalysis, Catastrophe & Social Action.