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Persona (Jung)

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Synonyms

Personage; Personality

Definition

Jung used the word “persona” to describe the psychic structure individual use to present and orientate themselves positively to the outer world so that its main function is that of adaptation. The word itself derives from the Latin word for “mask” that actors wore to present their characters in the dramas of antiquity.

Introduction

Jung understood the persona to be a psychic structure that individuals use to deal with the outer world while maintaining their own individuality, as he says, “The persona is … a functional complex that comes into existence for reasons of adaptation or personal convenience, but is by no means identical with the individuality. The persona is exclusively concerned with the relation to objects [i.e., the outer world of people and things]” (Jung 1921/1989: 465).

Persona as a Psychic Structure

Since the persona for Jung is conceived as a psychic structure that stands between the individual’s internal ego and the outer...

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References

  • Hall, C. S., & Nordby, V. J. (1973). The development of personality. In A primer of Jungian psychology (pp. 81–95). New York: New American Library.

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  • Jacobi, J. (1973). The Persona. In The psychology of C. G. Jung. New Haven: Yale University Press.

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  • Jung, C. G. (1921/1989). Psychological types, CW (Vol. 6). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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  • Jung, C. G. (1935a/1990). The persona as a segment of the collective psyche. In Two essays on analytical psychology, CW (Vol. 7, pp. 156–162). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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  • Jung, C. G. (1935b/1990). Anima and animus. In Two essays on analytical psychology, CW (Vol. 7, pp. 188–211). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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  • Jung, C. G. (1935c/1990). Phenomena resulting from the assimilation of the unconscious. In Two essays on analytical psychology, CW (Vol. 7, pp. 139–155). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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  • Jung, C. G. (1950/1990). Concerning rebirth. In The archetypes and the collective unconscious, CW (Vol. 9i, pp. 111–147). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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  • Jung, C. G. (1954/1981). The development of personality, CW (Vol. 17). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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Correspondence to John Merchant .

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Merchant, J. (2020). Persona (Jung). In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24612-3_1408

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