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Zinkin, J. (1951). Jung, Carl G. Die Frau in Europa. [Zurich: Rascher Verlag, 1948. Pp. 39.]. Psychoanal. Rev., 38(2):198.

(1951). Psychoanalytic Review, 38(2):198

Jung, Carl G. Die Frau in Europa. [Zurich: Rascher Verlag, 1948. Pp. 39.]

Review by:
Joseph Zinkin

This little brochure represents a reprint of an essay on the subject of woman in Europe which first appeared in a symposium in “Der Europaischen Revue”. It hardly needs an extended review since the Jungian views on women and many other things are fairly well known through his numerous recent writings. In this essay he adds little that is new. He takes the position that the two World Wars have left millions of women in the position of not being able to look forward to love, marriage, a home and children since they far outnumber the number of males available for normal marriage and home-making. This is no small problem, as even we in America have come to realize. Jung goes further and indicates that this excess of single, marriageable women does tend to undermine the institution of marriage as we have known it. The press of women into “masculine roles” of wage-earners, professions, business, arts, etc., further tends to make them dissatisfied with the old-fashioned marriage. At the same time, men are also materially and psychologically placed in an unusual and somewhat anomalous position vis-a-vis marriage and women. Thus the tendency is the gradual disruption and distortion of the Western institutions of the home, marriage and family-making.

Even the married females are exposed to the results of these abnormal pressures. The psychological atmosphere of contemporary urban, literate men and women is such as to make for a vicious cycle in which both sexes are caught up in an ever-increasing dissolution of the basic institutions which we have inherited from the past. The Zurich analyst is unable to offer much of anything in the way of a solution to the problem raised. The facts are clear enough but his psychological evaluation and interpretation does not find an echo in this reader. He still looks on women with the eyes of a Victorian patriarch. His horror of the movement of women from the kitchen into social and intellectual and economic life is a hangover of a dead past. There is no turning the clock back to a pre-atomic age.

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