Persona : Where Sacred Meets Profane
by Robert H. Hopcke

From Booklist , 12/15/94
Surprisingly enough, not one of the plethora of books on C. G. Jung's thought has been on his concept of the persona, the mask each of us wears in our social interactions. Hopcke fills that gap amply. Persona is related etymologically to both person and personality, and Hopcke fully considers the ways that the social mask expresses and inhibits such dimensions of the fuller self. Most interesting is his examination of how minority persons are encouraged to assume masks unthreatening to the biased world around them; such persons win psychological health, which often entails removing false faces, with great pain when their new, individuated selves provoke bigotry. Similarly, the social mask is problematic for gays, some of whom have learned to toy with persona through drag while others live painfully closeted lives behind rigid masks. Hopcke also questions the masks of gender expectations vigorously, finding new, less dichotomous ways of expressing the worrisome Jungian concepts of anima and animus, the cross-gendered selves within us. In all, a highly readable, conceptually fascinating study. Patricia Monaghan
Copyright© 1994, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Synopsis
The persona is our mask--the place in our personality where public and private meet, where who we are collides with who we're told we should be. In the first book devoted entirely to the key Jungian concept of persona, Hopcke uses case histories from his practice as a Jungian therapist to explore this concept.

Card catalog description
The persona is our mask - the place in our personality where who we are perceived to be confronts who we really are. But, as C. G. Jung understood, the persona is not to be disregarded in the search for our true selves, but rather to be honored as an essential part of the rich and complex configuration of the whole person. Robert Hopcke underscores the persona's essential role of mediator between our inner and outer worlds. He follows the concept from Jung's original theory into its persistent manifestations in traditional rituals and the arts, and on into the lives of real men and women to explore such questions as: what is the result of identifying too completely with one's persona?; is it possible not to have a persona?; what part does persona play in sex roles and communication between the sexes?; how do people whose inner selves clash with cultural expectations - like women, gays and lesbians, and people of color - use their personas to adapt?