The shaman in the disco and other dreams of masculinity: men, isolation and intimacy : a theory of male self-alienation
Thomas, James William, 1958-
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This non-traditional dissertation works toward the creation of a masculinist perspective, a corollary and corrective to feminism, that attempts to articulate and understand some of the most urgent issues concerning masculine consciousness and male self-alienation: the requirement that we gain authority and control through the elimination of the personal and the prohibition against woundedness, both of which preclude psychological growth; the absent or alienating father and cultural fathers; the lack of adequate initiation for sons; the consequent self-estrangement and the precarious move to take his self-alienation to a woman-mother-lover to be healed.I see in the image of Dracula bent over the entranced woman and sucking her blood the inevitable outcome of a man's desire who has been socialized into a hostile relationship to all things in himself we in our culture call "feminine" (from my Introduction).I use my own dream texts as the basis for this study because they required me to own my own story, helping me avoid the pitfall of writing about male self-alienation with such detachment that the process was itself self-alienated. This is also why I go to the front lines, to developmental psychologists, social theorists, and, above all, Jungian therapists working with men and men's issues rather than to critical theory, in the attempt to find an appropriate language with which to examine my subject and contribute to a workable theory of male alienation. Such a theory not only carries with it the seeds for healing but also for a literary perspective which understands masculinity first hand, rather than mediated primarily through women's experience of alienation and powerlessness via feminist theory.
- English