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The Scapegoat Complex: Shadow and Guilt

Date of Publication: September 01, 1986

Author: Sylvia Brinton Perera

An in-depth study of victim psychology based on historical ritual dreams, mythology and case material. Shows that scapegoating is a way of denying one’s own dark side by projecting it onto others.

“The term scapegoat is applied to individuals and groups who are accused of causing misfortune. Scapegoating means finding those who can be identified with evil, blamed for it, and cast out from the family or the community in order to leave the remaining members with a feeling of guiltlessness.” This is an in depth analysis of how the shadow archetype is focussed on certain types of individuals who grew up carrying their family’s collective shadow. Such people are termed “Scapegoat Identified Individuals” by the author, renowned Jungian analyst, Sylvia Perera. Perera goes into great detail explaining how such individuals can be healed of this complex through identification of it and working through the negative introjections. A must for anyone who wants to understand the shadow and how some of us end up with more than our share of it.