Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Our Lady of the Queers: The Black Madonna, the American Cultural Complex around Homophobia, and the Evolution of Consciousness and Culture
by Watts, Brett Madison, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2018, 202; 13422536
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores the Black Madonna as the archetypal center of the American cultural complex around homophobia. The dissertation is designed to: (a) present an approach to Jungian concepts informed by complexity theory and transdisciplinarity; (b) integrate the unconscious in research, by honoring the feminine archetype in theory and methodology; (c) extend analytical psychology to the collective level through an exploration of archetype and the evolution of consciousness and culture; (d) detail the American cultural complex around homophobia; and (e) engage the religious function through the production of a meaningful, hermeneutic exploration of consciousness and cultural transformation.

The research question guiding this dissertation is as follows: through the irruptions of the American cultural complex around homophobia, how has the dominant culture’s unconscious, collective projection of the Black Madonna, symbolically embodied by gay men, constellated the transcendent function, supporting the emergence of an integral structure of consciousness and a partnership model of culture?

Several theoretical perspectives (Jungian and post-Jungian thought, complexity theory, Gebser’s structures of consciousness, Eisler’s Cultural Transformation theory, and Singer’s theory of the cultural complex) provide an integrated framework. The research is guided by a melding of approaches and methods, including transdisciplinarity, hermeneutics, and amplification.

The dark feminine archetype has been symbolically embodied by gay men throughout the course of the American struggle for gay rights. As the dominant culture is better able to relate to gay men, it may likewise better relate to the dark feminine archetype, imagined herein as the Black Madonna. Incremental shifts in homophobic attitudes seem to emerge through this relation to the Other and are indicative of evolved consciousness. Ongoing retraction of homophobic attitudes may help to move the culture towards an integral structure of consciousness and partnership model of culture, the unfolding of the Black Madonna archetype.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McAuley, Charles E., IV
Commitee: Combs, Allan L., Hopcke, Robert H.
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 80/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social research, LGBTQ studies, Psychology
Keywords: Archetype, Black Madonna, Consciousness, Cultural complex, Homophobia, Projection
Publication Number: 13422536
ISBN: 9780438762183
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