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Archetypes and the unthought: The projection of the King’s Court in New Zealand television media

This thesis explores archetypal projections of conflict in Television New Zealand’s news and current affairs as an unthought. The television news and current affairs programmes identified in the thesis relate to issues of conflict between the Maori people of New Zealand, and the Government and Crown agencies of New Zealand. The unresolved issues of conflict are manifest in what has become popularly known as the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process. The thesis is informed by Foucault’s conviction that the unthought is the power that is linked to every mode of knowledge. The thesis argues that knowledge in relation to thought is limited because the knowledge is surrounded by an immense region of shadow. In an ontology based on thought only it is shown how the Shadow and the King’s Court archetypes conceal and prevent human beings from comprehending other discourses. It is argued that Foucault’s concern with the unthought is reflected in Carl Gustav Jung’s convictions about the collective unconscious. Jung’s theory of the quarternio: thinking, sensing, intuition and feeling that describe the four functions of the mind, inform the theory and the methodology for the thesis. It is proposed that the discursive activities of television media can be understood in relation to Hermes the Greek God of magic, lies and illusion. It is further proposed that the images that are projected from television media can be informed by mythical accounts of Hermes’ behaviour and activity in relation to Zeus, Apollo, Dionysus, and Ares. In the thesis, the quarternio and the Greek Gods are represented by the archetypes of the King’s Court. The Ruler archetype represents Zeus and Apollo as the thinking function of the mind. The Sage archetype is shown to be located in close proximity to the Ruler. The Warrior archetype represents Dionysus as the sensing function of the mind. The Magician archetype represents Hermes as the intuitive function of the mind. The Fool archetype represents Ares as the feeling function of the mind. The Destroyer archetype as the inferior and rejected contents of the collective unconscious represents the archetypal Shadow that undermines the activities of the King’s Court. It is maintained in the thesis that television media projections of the King’s Court are a metaphor of the mind, and in particular of the contents of the collective unconscious. The King’s Court as a mythical and archetypal metaphor invites an inspection of the unthought through the epistemology of image. The thesis furnishes a methodology based on the epistemology of television. Through an analysis of popular contemporary films such as the Star Wars Trilogy that are shown to be heavily invested with archetypal motif, discourses for each of the King’s Court archetypes are presented. Foucault’s notion of the rituals and gestures that constitute the true discourse in a regime of truth informs the definition of discourse in the thesis. Discourse in the thesis is to be understood as verbal and non-verbal modes of communication. Foucault’s notion of disciplinary power provides a method for analysing television news and current affairs programmes as an order of discourse. Disciplinary power enables an understanding of the power relations in television media as the power that circulates in an inquisition between the examiner and the confessor. The archetypes of the King’s Court are projected through the rituals of inquisition in television media. In the analysis all of the archetypes of the King’s Court are seen except for the Magician. Television it is argued represents the Magician. The Destroyer, the Ruler the Sage, the Warrior and the Fool on television media are controlled by the Magician. The Magician shows that the Ruler’s discourse reflected through the King’s Court represents the regime of truth. The competing discourse of the Destroyer as archetypal foe is located outside of the King’s Court and in opposition to the Ruler’s discourse. The Ruler’s discourse is Apollonine. The Ruler projects the image of control, peace, reconciliation, rationality, serenity, authority, and wealth. The Sage as the intellectual and the Fool as the archetypal Trickster are shown to actively facilitate the power of the Ruler. The Warrior who is projected as a powerful leader may be alienated from the King’s Court.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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