The Scapegoat Complex: Toward a Mythology of Shadow and Guilt

R275,00
This hard-hitting book examines many aspects of scapegoat psychology as it manifests in modern men and women, with a wealth of examples from the author's analytic practice.  It also looks behind the scapegoat complex to the underlying archetypal pattern as it appears in mythology and in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

In stock


Author: Sylvia Brinton Perera
No. Pages: 128
ISBN: 9780919123229

The term scapegoat is applied to individuals and groups who are accused of causing misfortune.  Scapegoating means finding those who can be identified with evil, blamed for it, and cast out from the family or the community in order leave the remaining members with a feeling of guiltlessness.

Psychologically, scapegoating is a form of denying the shadow – by projecting it onto others.  Shadow here refers to attitudes, behaviour and emotions that do not conform to ego ideals or the supposed perfect goodness of God. Instead of being recognized as components of one’s own humanity – and God’s wholeness – they are repressed and denied, split off and made unconscious.

In the Western world the scapegoat role has often fallen onto Jews and other minorities.  It has also been the particular burden of girl children and women.  These groups have traditionally been scapegoated – blamed and rejected, or at best undervalued – because the way they function or what they represent is not consciously esteemed by the culture.

When individuals identify with the scapegoat – that is, take on personal responsibility for the rejected shadow qualities of others – they may play out their identification in self-rejection and in behaviour motivated by, or covering, a deep-seated sense of guilt and shame.

This hard-hitting book examines many aspects of scapegoat psychology as it manifests in modern men and women, with a wealth of examples from the author’s analytic practice.  It also looks behind the scapegoat complex to the underlying archetypal pattern as it appears in mythology and in the Judeo-Christian tradition.