Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Impact of Motown Music on the Psyche of African American Women
by Allen, Melvin L., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2016, 206; 10253631
Abstract (Summary)

This study assesses the unconscious impact of Motown music on the psyche of two generations of African-American women: mothers who gave birth during the Motown era from 1959 to 1972 when the company was located in Detroit and their daughters. The dissertation applies a combination of hermeneutic phenomenology methodologies based on narrative, imaginal, archetypal, and transference inquiries, and also incorporated portraiture methodology. A focus group of 11 African American women, created to determine the top three Motown artists or groups to focus on in the study, selected Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and The Temptations. The study deconstructs the lyrics of Motown music, captures and witnesses the lived experiences of the research participants, and thematically analyzes common threads and the transference of unconscious messages from mothers to daughters, which may help explain some contemporary values in the African American community, their families, relationships, and careers. From a depth psychological perspective, accessing the unconscious through the interpretation of musical lyrics may be another vehicle for understanding the impact music and culture have on psyche.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ciofalo, Nuria
Commitee: Decena, Carlos, Stevens, Maurice
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Womens studies, Psychology
Keywords: 1960s, African american family, African american women, Motown music, Music & unconscious, Professional women
Publication Number: 10253631
ISBN: 978-1-369-46986-8
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