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Childhood Re-imagined: Images and Narratives of Development in Analytical Psychology [Paperback]

Shiho Main

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Book Description

24 July 2008 0415384966 978-0415384964 1

What can Jungian psychology contribute to understanding children and childhood?

Childhood Re-imagined considers Carl Jung's psychological approach to childhood and argues that his symbolic view deserves a place between the more traditional scientific and social-constructionist views of development. Divided into four sections this book covers:

  • Jung on development
  • theoretical and methodological discussion
  • the Developmental School of analytical psychology
  • towards a Jungian developmental psychology.

This book discusses how Jung's view of development in terms of individuation is relevant to child development, particularly the notion of regression and Jung's distinction between the child archetype and the actual child. It shows how Jung's understanding of the historically controversial notion of recapitulation differs from that of other psychologists of his time and aligns him with contemporary, post-modern critiques of development. The book goes on to investigate Fordham's notion of individuation in childhood, and the significance of this, together with Jung's approach, to Jungian developmental psychology and to wider interdisciplinary issues such as children's rights. Main also examines the plausibility and usefulness of both Jung's and Fordham's approaches as forms of qualitative psychology.

Through its detailed scholarly examination of Jungian texts and concepts Childhood Re-imagined clarifies the notion of development used within analytical psychology and stimulates discussion of further connections between analytical psychology and other contemporary discourses. It will be of particular interest to those involved in analytical psychology, Jungian studies and childhood studies.


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"Shiho Main has given us the most important Jungian work on childhood in recent years. Unlike other writers she manages to bridge the 'developmental' and the symbolic archetypal and  bring the concept of the child up-to-date socially and politically. Seldom is Jungian writing so comprehensive and informing. This is essential reading for psychotherapists, psychologists, trainees and everyone concerned with what 'childhood' means in our time." - Christopher Hauke, Goldsmiths College, University of London, Author of Jung and the Postmodern and Human Being Human, Culture and the Soul.

About the Author

Shiho Main is a fellow at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK, and an associate lecturer with the Open University.


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