The Multicultural Imagination :
1st Edition

The Multicultural Imagination
"Race", Color, and the Unconscious

ISBN 9780415138383
Published November 23, 1996 by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

The Multicultural Imagination is a challenging inquiry into the complex interrelationship between our ideas about race and color and the unconscious. Michael Vannoy Adams takes a fresh look at the contributions of psychoanalysis to a question which affects every individual who tries to establish an effective personal identity in the context of their received 'racial' identity.
Adams argues that 'race' is just as important as sex or any other content of the unconcscious, drawing on clinical case materal from contemporary patients for whom 'race' or color is a vitally significant social and political concern that impacts on them personally. He does not assume that racism or 'colorism' will simply vanish if we psychoanalyse them, but shows how a non-defensive ego and a self-image that is receptive to other-images can move us towards a more productive discourse of cultural differences.
Wide-ranging in its references and scope, this is a book that provokes the reader - analyst or not - to confront personally those unconscious attitudes which stand in the way of authentic multicultural relationships.

Table of Contents

1 Pluralism, racism, and colorism 2 Whiteness and blackness, nature and culture 3 The cultural unconscious and collective differences 4 Going black, going primitive, going instinctive 5 Jung in "Black" Africa 6 Hair: kinky, straight, bald 7 Jung on "race" and the unconscious 8 The color complex 9 The mirror of identity 10 Frantz Fanon and Alice Walker on humanism and universalism 11 The empathic self: going other, going different 12 Case material, "race" material 13 Color-change dreams and "racial" identity 14 A color-change from brown to white to black 15 Old Man River

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Michael Vannoy Adams


'I really enjoyed reading this book. It is easy to read and well-presented. It is an important book for anybody to read, whether a counsellor or psychotherapist or one just interested in human relationships. It is a very thought-provoking book. It brings to our awareness how much our image of 'the other' is culturally determined, how we perceive 'colour' or 'race' and how much such attitues cause barriers to authentic human relationships.' - Race and Cultural Education in Counselling (RACE)

'As a trainer in the cross-cultural field I have already included the book on the course reading list. I hope there are many more books of its kind.' - Self and Society Vol 25 No 1