Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Poststructuralism: Its relationship to depth psychology and the unconscious nature of language
by Young, Julie, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2008, 271; 3345858
Abstract (Summary)

Poststructuralism is a theory that has roots in continental philosophy. This theoretical dissertation explores the tradition of continental philosophy by reviewing, among other topics, structuralism and hermeneutics, humanism and phenomenology, and the representation of psychic images.

The goal throughout the review of literature is to find how poststructuralists' critical theories came to be. In very broad strokes, the dissertation shows how philosophies of language are the basis of poststructuralism. It is proposed that depth psychology derives from and contributes to the same philosophies of language that inform poststructuralist theory. In poststructuralism, language is the unconscious. Theorists who adhere in varying degrees to this viewpoint, besides Freud and Jung, are Saussure, Husserl, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, and Kristeva. Their ideas are the heart of the review of literature.

A case study is presented. Poststructuralism is described as theory in action by means of a chapter on the revolutionary Events of May '68 in Paris. The discourse of poststructuralist ideas is heard through the words of situationists and students. Their story presents poststructuralism as a response to the loss of poetic meaning in language and in life. The revolution, as a critique of consumerism, capitalism, and the Western ego, is an affirmation of imagination and desire in language.

What happens on a cultural level reflects the relationship between language and personal subjectivity. Poststructuralism is therefore shown to be relevant to the study of depth psychology, especially the conceptual branch of depth psychology known as archetypal psychology. Parallels are drawn between ideas of the founder of archetypal psychology, James Hillman, and those of poststructuralists. If one seeks to more fully understand Hillman's concern about language in depth psychology today, or if one seeks to read post-Freudian and post-Jungian writers, poststructuralism is relevant. Critical theories emphasize depth psychology's connection with language and the unconscious.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Selig, Jennifer
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 70/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Clinical psychology, Language
Keywords: Archetypal psychology, Depth psychology, Events of May, 1968, Hermeneutics, Linguistics, Poststructuralism
Publication Number: 3345858
ISBN: 9781109006476
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