Arguing that American culture appeals to and is populated by children and adolescents who merely appear to be adult men and women, the essays in Perpetual Adolescence examine the Jungian archetype of the "eternal youth"--the puer aeternus--as it is manifested in the arrested development of American culture. From the infantilization of the American psyche and the lionization of teenaged celebrities and bodies, to fanatical conformity, and puerile entertainment, the contributors probe the various ways that American television, music, film, print, Internet, education, and social movements work to nourish and sustain this child archetype. Offering analytic psychology as an instrument of social analysis and critique, they point to the need for dialogue over the causes and effects of our puer-fixations, which have become, in large part, both a creation and a creator of the American zeitgeist.
About the Author:
Sally Porterfield is former Director of the A&S Drama Program at the University of Hartford, where she was Assistant Professor of Drama. She is the author of Jung's Advice to the Players: A Jungian Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays.
Keith Polette is Professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso. His books include Teaching Grammar Through Writing: Activities to Develop Writer's Craft in ALL Students in Grades 4-12.
Tita French Baumlin is Professor of English at Missouri State University and coeditor (with James S. Baumlin and George H. Jensen) of Post-Jungian Criticism: Theory and Practice, also published by SUNY Press.