Mythopoetic Perspectives of Men's Healing Work: An Anthology for Therapists and Others

By Edward Read Barton | Go to book overview

What we are seeing in the mythopoetic theory of men's violence (and I believe the same is true of mythopoetic theory as a whole) is a fissure between traditional and contemporary, collective and individual perspectives. Curiously, though, what seems to be a weakness could also, if consciously recognized, be a strength. It seems clear that what is not needed to understand and deal with men's violence is a single theory, however worthy. We should not choose among behavioral retraining, group therapy, community building, or individual and inner work but instead examine the complex interplay by which these solutions might be related to each other. Mythopoetics is not incompatible with some of the other theoretical possibilities from which this multiplicity of solutions spring. A mythopoetics that could recognize the difficult interplay between individual and collective in its own positions--rather than simply reiterating collective solutions like warriorhood as if they were unproblematic--would constitute theory of a particularly helpful kind.


REFERENCES

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Brown L. S. ( 1992). Essential lies: A dystopian vision of the mythopoetic men's movement. In K. L. Hagan (Ed.), Women respond to the men's movement (pp. 93- 100). New York: HarperCollins.

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Hastings J. E., & Hamberger L. K. ( 1988). "Personality characteristics in spouse abusers: A controlled comparison". Violence and Victims, 3, 31-48.

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