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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Modern Family and the Integration of the Wicked Stepmother Archetype
by Cutler, Danielle C., M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2019, 52; 13809992
Abstract (Summary)

Nearly a quarter of children in the United States are living in a remarriage or cohabitation family structure. Many women in these families take on the projection of the Wicked Stepmother stereotype. Using hermeneutic methodology with findings from psychiatrist C. G. Jung's writings on archetypes and shadow, sociologist Wednesday Martin's insights into stepmotherhood, and Jungian analyst Robert Johnson's discussion of owning one's shadow, this thesis explores the problematic negative stereotype associated with stepmothers in the Western hemisphere. The author examines the demonization and stigmatization of stepmothers in Western fairytales, popular storytelling, and societal beliefs; identification with the Wicked Stepmother archetype and subsequent projection; and solutions within family systems roles in a blended family. Clinical applications emphasize therapists taking an active role in providing a positive path for those in a blended family by helping its members to anticipate, understand, and deconstruct this potentially negative archetype.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Walling, Joanna
Commitee: Jacobson, Gioia, Steffora, Tom
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychobiology, Womens studies, Counseling Psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Archetype, Blended family, Family systems, Projection, Stepmother, Stereotype
Publication Number: 13809992
ISBN: 978-1-392-15058-0
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