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.
|Advisor:||Pottenger, Rebecca, Walling, Joanna|
|Commitee:||Jacobsen, Gioia, Steffora, Thomas|
|School:||Pacifica Graduate Institute|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 81/9(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Public health, Political science|
|Keywords:||Depth psychology, Guns, Suicide, Symbolism|
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