Dissertation Title:

A Depth Psychological Engagement of Corporate Imagery in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission


Elizabeth Martin

Date, Time & Place:

June 1, 2022 at 2:00 pm


While claiming to be cultural necessities, corporations in 21st century America are recipients of both privilege and disdain, attracting immense negative criticism. They also enjoy unprecedented constitutional protections as “citizens” given the 2010 United States Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. While analytical psychological theory by C. G. Jung might find cultural, historical, and psychical precedent for the opposition of attitudes that envelop corporations, Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic approach might situate them more within modern, personal psychology. This study explores both avenues, supplementing each with the perspectives of two theorists following in Freud and Jung’s respective traditions—Jacques Lacan and James Hillman. Examining the divergent impacts this quaternity of perspectives has through the unique optics of the Promethean myth, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the plantations of the 19th century American South, the concepts of the personal and collective unconscious are explored as a means of reorienting our current view of corporations. Employing hermeneutical and transdisciplinary methods, this depth psychological study invites new perspectives to emerge that reconstitute our relationship with these modern entities and recast their influence as unconscious forces enabling us to see the world in different ways.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology Jungian Archetypal Studies, N, 2014
  • Chair: Dr. Susan Rowland
  • Reader: Dr. Jeanne Schul
  • External Reader: Dr. Ronald Schenk
  • Keywords: Freud, Jung, Lacan, Hillman, Corporations, Dream Interpretation, Citizens United, Direct Association, Free Association, Soulmaking, Close Reading, Transdisciplinarity