"Surface area" is simply an effort to mirror your sense that the concept of "cultural complex"

Hi Leslie,

My use of the phrase “surface area” is simply an effort to mirror your sense that the concept of “cultural complex” is too diffuse. I could’ve just as easily repeated your claim of its ‘vagueness’. This seems to be a fairly substantial miss between what I’ve written and what you’re gleaning. Of course groups function without consensus. I am speaking as a social scientist/psychologist about groups generally, on purpose.  I think what you experience as diffuse in my paper is a level of abstraction that I think is necessary. In the full paper I analyze a particular exchange on the IAJS listserv as a case study. That might interest you.  I eliminated it here because of length.

My interest and concern is  in how any group functions and how particular historical factors influence that functioning. In particular, I find that conversations within the Jungian communities struggle to build on similarities instead tend to privilege differences. To get more particular, focusing on your and my interaction,  you seem to be genuinely attempting to connect to my thesis and I am genuinely trying to build a bridge back toward you. This type of concentration has promise; and, even though we are both part of the same community, our differences may be too significant to bridge. Such misses become part of the group’s identity and are normalized. We will both find a way of being content despite the miss and enjoy a meal or dance at the next conference. And, group theory would speak of our miss as a restraining force on the IAJS group’s development because groups develop through the discernment and integration of difference. So let’s keep trying and see what happens.

warm regards,

Peter Dunlap

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