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Dissertation Title:

Psyche’s Response to the Intersections of Cultural Complexes: Mexican American Male Identity Formation


John Anthony Valenzuela

Date, Time & Place:

November 20, 2015 at 10:00 am
Room A, Ladera Lane campus


he purpose of this study was to describe the phenomenological experience of men who identify ethnically as Mexican American. In the research literature, group identification, microaggressions, cultural complexes, and archetypes were shown to influence the quality of the experience for individuals of this ethnic group. To identify these processes in individuals this qualitative study gathered data through a four month research study that included a dream group, the submission of dreams, and narrative interviews with four Mexican American males in mid-life. The data was analyzed in four parts: (a) a depth hermeneutic interview analysis, (b) a thematic review of discussion items in the dream groups, (c) a structural dream analysis, and (d) archetypal amplification. The results showed that microaggressions and a American bi-ethnic cultural complex aggravate Mexican American males. The results also showed that dreams respond to the identity constructions and capture evidence of the psyche’s connection to the cultural historical dimension of the collective unconscious (i.e. Aztec and American cultures). The participants’ unconscious attitudes showed an identification with their bi-ethnic identity on the one hand, and on the other hand a response from the unconscious to this attitude through dreams, revealing Aztec mythology and Nahuatl language, disclosing a connection to the collective unconscious, and potentiating the healing of the cultural complexes. While there were limitations to the study, including a limited sample size, the study has implications for clinical, depth, and acculturation psychology.


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  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, Track O, 2007
  • Chair: Dr. Paul Gabrinetti
  • Reader: Dr. Wendy Phillips
  • External Reader: Dr. Steven Nouriani
  • Keywords: Bi-ethnic Identity, Cultural Complex, Aztecs, Dreams, Microaggressions, Analytical Psychology, Qualitative Research