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Dissertation Title:

Re-Imaging Masculinity: The Sacred Masculine Archetype as Revealed in Four Cultural Artifacts

Candidate:

Drew Harrison Smith

Date, Time & Place:

December 10, 2020 at
Virtual


Abstract

Masculinity has been in a state of disruption over the past 50 years. From the second-wave feminist movement of the 1960s to the #MeToo movement at present, the traditional framework of what masculinity has looked like no longer seems appropriate. Thus, men and women may benefit from a re-visioned model of masculinity that clearly separates itself from the historically toxic, hegemonic, or patriarchal cultural examples. This revised template would instead promote a masculine identity that more fully embraces and honors the Other, a template well represented by the Sacred Masculine archetype. This cultural hermeneutic research explores the emergence and manifestation of the Sacred Masculine, as defined and described by Dr. Matthew Fox in his 2008 work, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, by interpreting four current cultural artifacts: the blockbuster superhero film Black Panther, the globally conscious streaming Netflix series Sense8, the Grammy-nominated modern Christian worship song “Reckless Love,” and an episode from Season 9 of the Emmy Award-winning queer television series RuPaul’s Drag Race. Fox had suggested the Sacred Masculine was “poised and ready to return” (p. 296). However, this research suggests that the Sacred Masculine is presently emerging into pockets of American consciousness, as evidenced by the cultural acceptance and celebration of many Sacred Masculine qualities represented within each of these four cultural artifacts.

Note

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Details
  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with Specialization in Jungian and Archetypal Studies, Track ZZ, 2012
  • Chair: Dr. Jennifer Selig
  • Reader: Dr David Odorisio
  • External Reader: Dr. Betz King
  • Keywords: Men, Masculinity, Archetypes, Mythopoetic Men’s Movement, Cultural Hermeneutics, Depth Psychology