In Alumni in Action, Books

A Jungian Inquiry into the American Psyche: The Violence of Innocence by Ipek S. Burnett (Depth Psychology, 2015)

In A Jungian Inquiry into the American Psyche: The Violence of Innocence, Ipek Burnett’s penetrating cultural criticism enriched with psychoanalytical and Jungian insight offers a timely interrogation of national consciousness in the United States.

Through evocative storytelling, Burnett unpacks the images and myths that run deep in the American psyche―from that of the New World, the city upon a hill, to the Manifest Destiny, the melting pot, and the pursuit of happiness. Against this backdrop, she investigates the vicious cycles of innocence and violence that have dominated American history and continue to reinforce systematic oppression in America, evident in racial and economic inequality, xenophobia, materialism, and more. Burnett’s thought-provoking analysis exposes the ways in which psychological defenses such as historical amnesia, projection, denial, and dissociation work on a collective level, helping America avoid a confrontation with these violent truths of its past and present circumstances, and its national character.

With its seamless multidisciplinary approach and revealing insight, this book will be of great interest to psychologists, scholars, and students of Jungian and post-Jungian thought, depth psychology, and cultural and American studies. Eloquent and accessible, it will engage readers who strive to be self-reflective, well-informed global citizens.

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