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Samuels, A. (1984). Gender and Psyche: Developments in Analytical Psychology. Brit. J. Psychother., 1(1):31-49.

(1984). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 1(1):31-49

Gender and Psyche: Developments in Analytical Psychology

Andrew Samuels


In my teaching work with Jungian, non-Jungian and eclectically oriented trainees, I have found that it is Jung's views on gender and sex that excite the most passionate feelings. Partly this reflects a general cultural interest but I have become convinced that something more specific is at stake. There is an impression that, locked up in Jung's copious writings on masculinity and femininity, there may lie clues to an understanding of our current conundrum. But, at the same time, I have also detected an immense dissatisfaction - with Jung's concepts and not just some of his expressed attitudes. The tension between anticipation and frustration has been so striking that I almost entitled this paper Jung: femininist or chauvinist?

The divergence of opinion extends to sophisticated commentators on Jung's ideas. Maduro and Wheelwright felt that those ideas were weft ahead of their time on their positive evaluation of femininity, and that Jung had anticipated contemporary interests (Maduro and Wheelwright, 1977). Goldenberg, on the other hand, calls for a ‘feminist critique to examine the inequity of (Jung's’) basic model’ (Goldenberg, 1976, p. 445).

In a nutshell, my argument will be that Jung's formulations of Logos and Eros and animus and anima can be stripped of their connections, not only to set, butt also to gender. That done, we are left with superb tools for an approach to psyche. And, moreover, such an endeavour fords its own links with present-day psychoanalysis.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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