This article broadens existing relational theories and their relevance to our Western understanding of the formation of self-concept by examining Anglo Saxon Americans' understanding of connection with Ancestors. It uses the African worldview as a sample Indigenous paradigm, shows its influence on contemporary African American culture, and reviews literature of Africentric psychology wherein conceptualization of, and engagement with, Ancestral connectedness has been employed. Based on findings from an earlier phenomenological inquiry into the lived experience of the formation of self-concept in relation to Ancestral connectedness in three Anglo Saxon Americans reveals that there is very little sense of Ancestral connectedness for these individuals. It follows that the long-standing premise in Western psychology that a healthy development of the self is forged out of a process of differentiation and increased autonomy must be brought into question. A self-identity based in the form of an extended self and having access to a lived connection with our Ancestors as Anglo Saxon Americans, can inform psychotherapeutic modalities designed to support our ever-growing social and psychological maladies.
Implications of Ancestral Connectedness and the Afrocentric Paradigm for Anglo Saxon American Identity Construction
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Ame Cutler; Implications of Ancestral Connectedness and the Afrocentric Paradigm for Anglo Saxon American Identity Construction. Ethnic Studies Review 1 January 2018; 39-40 (1): 37–61. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/esr.2018.39-40.1.37
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