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A Jungian Analysis of Margaret Thatcher's Life

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A Jungian Analysis of Margaret Thatcher's Life
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  Running Head:   JUNGIAN ANALYSIS OF MARGARET THATCHER 1   A Jungian Analysis of Margaret Thatcher: Theoretical Implications Joanne Lawrence Submitted as a PY2106 Developmental Profile Analysis Due Date: 28th August 2012 Tutor: Agnes Au Class: Thursday 11:00-1:00  JUNGIAN ANALYSIS OF MARGARET THATCHER   2 A Jungian Analysis of Margaret Thatcher: Theoretical Implications Research in the psychology of life-span development is enriched by the application of theory. Because of this, many developmentalists focus on motor, cognitive, or social domains of development. However another group of theorists, the psychoanalysts, have given their attention to the development of the psyche. This school of thought srcinated from the work of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), who emphasised the interaction between childhood experiences and subsequent personality development. Freud is renowned for his beliefs towards the presence of sexuality during childhood, and his conceptualisation of the unconscious (Crain, 2004a; Freud, 1920; Young-Breuhl, 1990). However, C. G. Jung (1875-1961) disagreed with aspects of his approach, especially those regarding childhood sexuality (Jung, 1933, 1961). Although recognising and supporting many of Freud‟s ideologies, Jung diverged from Freud‟s  view towards life-span development, and is now considered to be the theoretical founder of adult developmental psychology (Levinson, 1980) Theoretical Evaluation of C. G. Jung (1875-1961) Jung (1875-1961) was a psychoanalysis who was also deeply interested in the nature of the unconscious, and devised an elaborate theory of personality that encompassed various aspects of psychological functioning (Crain, 2004b). Like Freud, Jung distinguished between conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche, however differed in his view towards these systems, which he named „archetypes‟ (Jung, 1931, 1933, 1961) . Firstly, while Freud saw conscious material as belonging to the ego (Freud, 1923), Jung distinguished  JUNGIAN ANALYSIS OF MARGARET THATCHER   3  between two conscious mechanisms: the persona, which entailed identity  presented to the outside world, and the ego, one‟s internalised conceptualisation of themself (Crain, 2004b; Jung, 1933). A dditionally, Jung‟s unconscious „ shadow ‟   is comparable to Freud‟ s id, as it involved personal qualities that are difficult to admit, and also contained the ego‟s defence mechanisms (Freud, 1923; Jung, 1961). However, Jung considered the „anima‟, which involved the male‟s conceptu alisation of feminine qualities, and the „animus‟ , the female equivalent, to be important aspects of the unconscious psyche. These mechanisms are primarily developed by the means of interaction with the parent of the opposite sex (Crain, 2004b; Jung, 1933). Moreover, Jung believed that the conscious and unconscious aspects of the  psyche interacted throughout the life-span (1933). According to Jung, there are two important age-related trends in  psychological development. In the first half of life, a young person ‟ s establishment of career and family life makes it necessary for extraverted traits to predominate, which rely on the persona. At this time, individuals also develop their gender identities due to socialisation (Jung, 1931, 1982). Age related trends in the latter half of life, beginning at around age 35, were thought to entail growth towards the „self‟, or an individua tion process of development towards one‟ s true potential (Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields, 2011; Jung, 1933). This involved the unravelling of unconscious thoughts, feelings, beliefs and memories into conscious ego. However, barriers contained in the shadow may stand in the way of this process (Crain, 2004b). Furthermore, the individuation process is accompanied by the expression of the anima or animus (Jung, 1933). As a result, an examination of life meaning  JUNGIAN ANALYSIS OF MARGARET THATCHER   4 and related conversion from extraverted to introverted tendencies is considered to be a characteristic of this time in life. Jungian psychoanalysis is one of the most mystical schools of thought in developmental psychology and, as a consequence, suffers from numerous criticisms. As Le Barre (1948) and Melville & Herkovits (1958) have argued, some of Jung‟s concepts may be difficult to apply theoretically.  These authors are particularly concerned with the universality of Jung‟s archetypes  and have questioned its cultural applicability. Additionally, Hubback (1979) has recognised that Jung‟s theoretical interpretations may not be equally applicable to men and women. While some research indicates that Jung‟s theory may be of limited practical value, Moraglia (1994) argues that the majority of findings focus on specific aspects of Jungian psychoanalysis, which tend to diverge from key ideologies. Adopting these methods often do little justice for such a complex theory (Moraglia, 1994). Despite this, in 1996, Hubback (1979) investigated Jung‟s mid -life transitions, and discovered results consistent with Jung‟s (1993) theory regarding maturing gender roles. Moreover, despite some disagreement, many researchers (Hubback, 1979; Levinson, 1980; Moraglia, 1994) regard Jungian perspectives as valuable in aiding the understanding of personality development throughout the lifespan. A Life History of Margaret Thatcher Margaret Roberts, second daughter of Beatrice Stephenson and Alfred Roberts, was born in Grantham in 1925, in the floor above her Father‟s  grocer where she spent most of her childhood years. She is now better known as Margaret Thatcher, or the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.  JUNGIAN ANALYSIS OF MARGARET THATCHER   5 It has been suggested that her early experiences working in the grocer have shaped her life in politics, and with the guidance of her mayor-father, a strong work ethic was encouraged from a very early age (Campbell, 2007, 2011). It is also striking that mention of her mother‟s role at this time did not extend  beyond the reminiscence of Beatrice‟s domestic efficiency  (Campbell, 2007). Margaret was a creative and intelligent scholar, and showed ability from the beginning of her school life. Before her involvement in politics, she appeared to be a regular student, with a goal towards high achievement. She continued her schooling into her twenties and in 1947 she completed her Bachelor in Chemistry (Lewis, 1975). When Margaret moved to Dartford and  put her first bid in for public office in 1950, it became apparent that she was determined to become involved in politics from a very young age (Campbell, 2007). Her marriage to Denis Thatcher in 1951 led her to postpone her interest in politics, and she began studies in law a year after her marriage. Within the next year Margaret welcomed twins, Mark and Carol, and pursued a career in law until her official entry to parliament was secured in 1959, where she  joined the conservative party as a Finchley representative, aged 34 (Lewis, 1975). Eleven years into Thatcher‟s political career, a  conservative victory put Edward Heath into leadership, and as a result, Thatcher assumed the new role as the Secretary of State for Education and Science in 1970. Five years later, she took over Heath‟s role as the  leader of the conservatives. Thatcher became the first woman in Britain to call herself Prime Minister in 1979 at age 54 and held this position until 1990 when, as a driven workaholic, with little interest outside the realm of politics, Thatcher was stripped of what seemed to be her
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