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Adams, M.V. (2002). African American Dreaming and the Beast of Racism: The Cultural Unconscious in Jungian Analysis. Psychoanal. Psychol., 19(1):182-198.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 19(1):182-198

African American Dreaming and the Beast of Racism: The Cultural Unconscious in Jungian Analysis

Michael Vannoy Adams, DPhil, CSW

This article is an interpretation of the dream of an African American woman. The purpose is to discuss the contribution that contemporary Jungian analysis might make to the attempt by psychoanalysis to serve historically disenfranchised populations—in particular, African Americans. The dreamer encounters racism in the image of a lion and other beasts. The interpretation takes into account both the archetypal level and the cultural level of the dream. Important concepts are the cultural unconscious and history-residues. The article argues that Jungian analysis—as well as all other varieties of psychoanalysis—will remain ineffective in addressing the concerns of disenfranchised populations until analysts make a serious effort to become culturally knowledgeable.

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