1st Edition

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

Edited By Ipek S. Burnett Copyright 2024
    290 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    290 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.





    Ipek S. Burnett 

    Part 1: Politics, Power, and Polarization


    1. A Personal Reflection on Politics and the American Soul

    Thomas Singer 

    2. Violent Hearts: America's Divided Soul

    Luigi Zoja

    3. Captain Ahab and Donald Trump: False Claims, the Fragility of Belief, and the Perilous Ship of America's Soul

    Dennis Patrick Slattery

    Part 2: Colonization, War and Violence


    4. Frontierism and the American Psyche

    Glen Slater

    5. The American Way of War

    Edward Tick

    6. Hate, Rage, Cultural War and Trump's Furies: The Monster in the American Psyche

    Ronald Schenk

    Part 3: Transgenerational Trauma, Racism, and Social Justice 


    7. Defiant Remembering: A Quest to Heal Transgenerational Trauma

    Andrew P. Grant

    8. Life from a View of the Shadow

    Kwame Scruggs

    9. Toward "Splendid Cities": The Thirst for the Imaginal in the Life of Community

    Mary Watkins

    Part 4: Gender, Sexuality, and the Patriarchy


    10. In the Wake and Shadow of "The Battle of the Sexes": A New Myth Is Arising

    Claudette Kulkarni

    11. Private Parts, Public Prejudice: Archetypes, Gender Essentialism, and Patriarchy

    Jordan Shapiro

    Part 5: Psychotherapy, Citizenship, and Cultural Movements 


    12. America's Child

    Thomas Moore

    13. Archetypal Psychology and Fugitive Democracy: James Hillman's Political Legacy

    Michael Sipiora

    14. Swimming the Wave: Occupying Uncertainty and the OWS Movement 

    Gustavo Beck

    15. Nomadland: Searching the Horizon of the American Dream

    Rebecca Armstrong 



    Ipek S. Burnett, PhD, is the author of A Jungian Inquiry into the American Psyche: The Violence of Innocence (Routledge). Based in San Francisco, she works with human rights and social justice organizations and writes novels in her native language, Turkish.

    "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.