Collective Cultural Shadow and Confrontation Term Paper

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Just as in the U.S. economy, where individuals have been economically left behind, such will be, and is, the case in the emerging global economy (p. 10). Ayres says that the impression, or the turning of society's blind eye towards the chaos of the economically disenfranchised, tends to cause the more affluent amongst us to believe that the term "global" means everybody will be a part of the emerging global economics, and this will produce an economic benefit that will be enjoyed by everyone (p. 10). That is not accurate, and, moreover, those people who presume to take a comfort in the economic globalization are not just turning a blind eye to the disenfranchised, but may find their selves vulnerable in a way that serves to be their light, much like Hank's in Monster's Ball. On this point Ayres says:

There is a popular impression, among the affluent and well-connected, that the global economy is now almost complete and almost everyone is a part of it. Transactions span the globe in seconds; people in the remotest corners of the world watch the TV advertising of multinational corporations; your VISA card is accepted in 224 countries and territories; and the international community, through agencies ranging from the World Trade Organization to Interpol, has become highly adept at both protecting economic activities and keeping them accountable. But that impression - of a powerfully and securely interfaced international system that now keeps track of us all - is a myth (p. 10)."

The collective shadow moves in a synchronicity, away from the chaos of the archetypal chaos that reminds the collective of the shadow. Moving about in the contemporary world is perhaps more than ever a contest of the survival of the fittest; where those who cannot achieve, or who cannot maintain the equilibrium to stand erect on the world where communication takes place at light speed, self-interest prevails over the interest of the group, and especially those whose blind eye has begun to seep light; will be devoured by the collective shadow for producing the chaos of a collective truth.

James F. Hamilton (1996) says that the space that we occupy helps to create meaning in our lives (p. 101). Therefore, to allow the chaos into the area of personal space evokes a response of hostility, anger, resistance or avoidance. Hamilton says:

Space also structures existence to give it meaning (by configuring daily life and personal relationships) and needs to be elevated to the same high level of understanding as time. Spatial arrangement in architecture and art gives visualization to the artist's needs, desires, feelings, and intentions -- personal and collective, conscious and unconscious -- to produce distinctive categories in cultural history, period style, and artistic movement (p. 101)."

The collective integrates the space of the collective into expressions of home, office, landscape, and those individuals who become by choice or default components within the space (p. 101). It is this space by which the collective identifies themselves, and by which it serves to justify the collective blind eye.

The Archetypal

The archetypal is the antithesis of the collective shadow, or that way in which the collective, unaware of their dark shadow, tend to perceive themselves. In western culture, the archetypal is the patriarchal society, where women have been slow to emerge as independent personalities separate and apart from their fathers and husbands. The archetypal collective perceives women who are not married, or who are without a mal by which to define themselves, as aberrant manifestations of something gone horribly wrong.

In terms of the space that Hamilton spoke about, he helps put into perspective the archetypal space, saying:

Archetypal architecture finds poetic expression in Chateaubriand's portrayal of his family home, Combourg. Connecting inner space and time, identity and the world, psyche and the text, Combourg becomes a focal point in the Memoires from 1826. Its mythic potential has been pointed to by critics in the images -- "du cote de Combourg" (Le Youanc70) and "haunted memories" (Rollo38). Moreover, a view of Combourg as a place of subjective reality, concrete but evolving in significance (Barberis292-93), prepares the description of Combourg as "a mythic place" existing "outside of time" (Salesse29, 11). The subjective reality of Combourg as perceived by an adolescent surpasses its historical, geographical context to reveal an ominous configuration of space and its corresponding pattern of psychic development. Underneath its lyrical description lies the stark reality of another archetype, the negative Father, a patriarch whose pervasive presence is made concrete through the spatial organization of family life (p. 101)."

In a journal article appearing in the Yale Law Journal, Ariela R. Dubler (2003) talks about women in society's shadow of men; that an impoverished woman is perceived by the court system to be a failure in marriage (p. 1641). If a woman is not married, this causes her to be suspect by society as perhaps being defected or amoral or even a lesbian - whether she is or not. It is reflective of the archetypal image by which the collective identify with in a patriarchal society. The unmarried woman is as difficult for most of us to explain as is the homeless man who was once a CEO of a fortune 500 company.

For a long time, the archetypal image of the ideal family was the family of the hit television show that ran from 1954 to 1977, Father Knows Best. Actors Robert Young and Jane Wyatt provided the images of the ideal parents, faced with, in today's world, seemingly mundane challenges involving their family of three children: two girls and a boy, the ideal family. Then, of course, there was the less archetypal family, the family that was presented as less ideally normal, but not so far from the mainstream as to pose a threat to the archetypal family image; Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963). The mother, a beautiful blonde, played by actress Barbara Billingsley, might actually be said to have supplanted Jane Wyman as the "archetypal" American mother. Billingsley, a stay at home mom, always dressed in a neat dress, pearls and high heels - not flat shoes to do the laundry, vacuuming, and mopping of floors.

It is from these unrealistic archetypal images that during the 1960s the darker shadow side of American culture began to clash with. The result was the counter cultural revolution of the 1960s, wherein young people went to seemingly great extremes to look and behave opposite the archetypal image, which soon became known as "the establishment." At a point in American history, during the years of the Vietnam Conflict, it would have served Americans well to have found a way to blend the archetypal with the new; but that did not occur. Part of that which kept the two from meeting on a common ground was the Civil Rights Movement, which the young people of the 1960s was very much in support of for the most part, but which because it was about change in attitudes, laws, and social behaviors, loomed as a threat to the people who resisted the change.

Instead of coming together in support of social changes, for the most part, Americans have demonstrated a stubbornness to change. If that which is subject to change defies the archetypal image with which Americans have become accustomed, and with which the collective identifies, then the tendency of Americans is put that challenge or contrasting image aside, or, better, to lock it up so that it no longer poses a threat to the archetypal. In some instances, such as the prison system, as we see in Monster's Ball, the archetypal, when exposed to the dark side, begins to manifest its own buried shadow side, and often the conditions become antagonistic.

Author Arjen Boin (2001), talks about the institutionalization in prisons and leadership roles and models. On the leadership in American prisons - which should be provided by the individuals in charge of inmates, the guards - Boin says, noting the difference between the federally operated Bureau of Prison's systems compared with the system employed by the individual states:

The high degree of institutionalization found in the U.S. federal prison system is not the result of coincidence or fortuitous circumstances. The federal prison system did not have an extraordinary budget.

The BOP did not achieve operational uniformity by imposing a restricted or purely custodial regime upon its inmate population. The BOP is, as we will see, one of the most progressive prison systems in the United States. Nor is this degree of organizational unity facilitated by an "easy" inmate population. It is sometimes supposed that the BOP has to deal with a different class of inmates as a result of federal crime definitions; white-collar criminals are thought to dominate federal prisons, whereas state prisons have to deal with the violent inmates. However, inmate statistics do not support this assumption (DiIulio, 1991) (p. 81)."

Here, the states' dysfunctional systems…

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