Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Symbolism of the Gun in Relation to Completed Suicides in the United States
by Nelson, Robert G., M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2020, 65; 27739564
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis explores the symbolism of the gun and its role as the primary means of completed suicides in the United States. Traditional representations of the gun as a symbol of power and freedom are dissonant with current real-world outcomes of gun use. In the United States, guns are involved in more completed suicides than in the death of others in defense of home and family. From an archetypal perspective, the freedom to kill oneself is the shadow side of the freedom to defend oneself. Ethnographic, hermeneutic, and heuristic methodological approaches are followed in discussing different attitudes within U.S. culture about the representation of the gun as a symbol in the context of suicide. This paper contributes a depth psychological perspective to the prevention of suicide by gun and provides therapists with a way to approach potentially suicidal clients about this sensitive and important topic.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pottenger, Rebecca, Walling, Joanna
Commitee: Jacobsen, Gioia, Steffora, Thomas
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/9(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Public health, Political science
Keywords: Depth psychology, Guns, Suicide, Symbolism
Publication Number: 27739564
ISBN: 9781658497008
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