Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Identifying cultural complex by examining the myth and rituals about birth and dying in the Macedonian culture and their influence on shaping the ethnic/national identity
by Bujko, Biljana, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013, 298; 3599339
Abstract (Summary)

The principal objective of this study was to understand the Macedonian psyche, more specifically the cultural layer of the psyche that makes this group unique, using the insights of depth psychology. The study addressed the question regarding how the myths and rituals about birth and dying have contributed to the formation of cultural, national, and personal identity, and how the complex of the culture is deeply embedded in individual and group psyches. Taking a historical perspective on Macedonian identity, beliefs, and rituals, this study contributes to the discussion about the role of the archetypal, collective, cultural, and symbolic function of the psyche in the creation of identity and culture. Narrative inquiry was utilized in this study. Specifically, through the narratives of 4 participants, the psychic processes involved in the identity formation and change influenced by certain cultural forms, such as traditional beliefs and ritualistic practices, are described. Subsequently, by analyzing the mythical beliefs and investigating the archetypal material that lies in the heart of a culture, a cultural complex was identified and examined.

Seven themes discovered in this study along with the analysis of the myth, which mirrors the Macedonian group psyche, offer a comprehensive depth psychological understanding of the phenomenon of the Macedonian cultural complex of inferiority and smallness, explaining the bipolarity of the complex with its destructive and constructive manifestations in the group and individual behavior. A transgenerational trauma of oppression and continued grieving for the loss of a hero/father figure underlie the complex of inferiority and smallness.

The study concluded with the discussion about healing of the complex, illuminating psychology that strives to understand, experience, and consciously embrace the loss. An area in need of further depth perspective research is a cross-cultural inquiry regarding group complexes and their interaction between nations in volatile parts of the world, such as the Balkans.

Key Words: Cultural Complex, Jung, Myth, Ritual, Macedonia, Psyche, National Identity, Transgenerational Trauma, Depth Psychology.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yakushko, Oksana
Commitee: Ghareman, Azarm, Nouriani, D. Steven
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Folklore, Social psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Cultural complex, Depth psychology, Jung, Carl, Macedonia, Myth, National identity, Psyche, Ritual, Transgenerational Trauma
Publication Number: 3599339
ISBN: 978-1-303-48517-6
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