Japan: Psychology & Self-Individuation: Jaynesian Interpretation with Dr Brian McVeigh

Japan: Psychology & Self-Individuation: Jaynesian Interpretation with Dr Brian McVeigh



Watch past Meetups on Japanese culture here:

Dr Brian McVeigh a scholar on Japanese culture who spent 15+ years working in Japan and has authored several books on Japan, will be talking about various aspects of the culture of Japan. Don’t miss it.

A Jaynesian Interpretation: Psychology and Self-individuation in Japan

We often assume that in Euro–American societies political, economic, and cultural matters are seen through the lens of individualism. This “institutionalized individualism” arguably also explains the emergence of professionalized psychology as well as a therapy-focused perspective or “therapism” that increasingly characterizes postmodern societies. However, charting the landscape of professionalized psychology in Japan demonstrates that there too social structures are becoming increasingly designed to articulate the interiority of the individual. This individual-centered worldview is not necessarily a “Western” view but is better described as “modern” and it operates at the worldwide level. The focus on the individual is actually driven by self-individuation, a key feature of what Julian Jaynes called consciousness. Not unexpectedly, a correlation exists between variations in levels of institutionalized individualism and the prevalence of professionalized psychology. Japan, like other affluent, capitalist, and democratic societies, is becoming a “psychologized” and “therapeutic society,” i.e., more consciously interiorized as Jaynes would have guessed. To illustrate this we will look at the impact of the mental health professions, the genre of “self-help” books, and how educational culture has responded to professional psychologization in Japan.

Please Watch the Introductory Julian Jaynes videos here, to get the most out of this Meetup:

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