Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Deborah Posel's Remarks at the Launch of Traumatic Stress in South Africa

Deborah Posel's Remarks at the Launch of Traumatic Stress in South Africa

Ratings: (0)|Views: 263 |Likes:
Published by Books LIVE
http://witspress.book.co.za/blog
http://witspress.book.co.za/blog

More info:

Published by: Books LIVE on Oct 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/12/2014

pdf

text

original

 
LaunchofTraumaticStressinSouthAfrica,byDebraKaminerandGillianEagle21/9/2010
LetmebeginwithawarmcongratulationstoDebbieandGillonproducingthiswonderfulbook–andtothankthemforinvitingmetocontributetoitslaunch,whichIamhonouredtodo.AndcongratulateandthanktheBookLounge.‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐Thisbookopenswithasobering–ifnotutterlyalarming–reminderoftheubiquityoftraumainthiscountry–beitintheformofdirectorindirecttrauma–somuchso,sayDebbieandGill,thattheideaoftraumaandbeingtraumatizedhasbecomepartofthecontemporarySouthAfricancommonsense.Whowoulddenythatthisisawidelytraumatizedsociety?It’swidelyacknowledgedandspokenabout–thestuffofdinnerconversations,talkshowsandjournalisticinvestigationsasmuchasitisthesubjectofseriousscholarlyandprofessionalinquiry.Traumaisafesteringsoreinthesocialbodyofournewdemocracy–andthebodilymetaphorisitselfwidelyinsinuatedintoourcollectiveconsciousness,asweknow,fromtheTRCanditsdiscourseofhealing(whichIsaymoreaboutinamoment).Butinfactthebodilymetaphorisonlypartlyuseful,becausefesteringsoreshealmorereadily,withappropriatemedication,thantheexperienceoftrauma.AsDebbieandGillemphasiseintheirtext,thereisnoquickfix,nopsychologicalantibiotic,thatwillrapidlyerasetheeffectsoftraumaticexperiences.Allofwhichmakestheirbooksoimportant,asmuchinprofessionalandacademiccirclesaswithinanintelligentlayreadership:firstlyinhelpingtoframeanintelligentandwell‐informeddiscussionaboutthemanifestationsandeffectsoftrauma,andsecondly,inpresentingrobustyetsensitivepointerstothosewho
 
devotetheirlivestotryingtodealwithtrauma,orthosewhoaretryingtosurviveamidsttheaftershocksoftraumaintheirownlives.I’mhereasabitofanoutsidertothegathering:I’mnotapractitioner,nordoIworkwithinthedisciplineofpsychology–butDebbieassuresmethat’sexactlywhyIwasinvitedtospeakattheirlaunch.Iamasocialresearcher(workingattheinterfacesofsociology,historyandculturalstudies)andtheyhaveaskedmetospeakbrieflyinwaysthatgivethatsortofperspectiveontheissueoftrauma.Whichis,infact,howtheyframetheissueattheoutsetoftheirbook.InSA,thegrowinginterestintraumaduringtheapartheidyearswasdrivenbyapoliticalandmoralactivism,amongpeoplealarmedandoutragedbyacceleratinglevelsofpoliticalviolenceduringthe1980sandearly1990s–alongwithmountingconcernandangerinfeministorganizations,suchasPOWA,aboutratesofrapeandsexualviolence.Thisisoneoftheprofoundstrengthsofthebookandtheirapproach:whilewritingaspsychologists,withtherapeuticinterests,theyarealwaysmindfulofthesocialandpoliticalgenesisoftheproblemstheydissect.Theideaoftraumaisindeed,inkeyrespects,asocialandpoliticalinvention–whichisnottosaythatit’samyth,ratheritistopointtoaveryparticularglobalhistorywhichhasconstitutedtraumaasacategoryofknowledgeandexperience.Soletmestartmyremarksthere,withtheglobalcontextintowhichparticularSouthAfricanexperiencesoftraumaareinserted.AsDidierFassinandRichardRechtmanpointout,intheirrecentbook
TheEmpireofTrauma:AnInquiryintotheConditionofVictimhood 
,‘traumahasbecomeamajorsignifierofourage’–inwaysthathelptodifferentiateouragefrompreviousones.Ifwenowacceptthattraumaisafactoflifeandmajorcircuitofpsychicandsocialexperience,itwasn’talwaysthatway–notbecauseterriblethingsdidn’thappentopeople,butratherbecausethecategoryhadn’tbeenbroughtintovisibilitywithsuchfrequencyandacuity.
 
Intheprofessionalandscholarlycirclesofpsychiatryandpsychology,theyargue,traumawasalatenineteenthcenturyidea–drawingpowerfullyontheworkofFreud.But,inthelast25years,wehaveseenaseachangeinthewaytraumahasbeenunderstoodandpopularized–thebeginningsofwhatwetakeforgrantednow–thatis,theideaoftraumaaspartofourcollectivecommonsense.Thisjourneyinthelifeoftheidea,theysay,wasshapedbyaseriesofcriticalmomentsinourglobalhistory–WorldWar1,WorldWar2andespeciallytheHolocaust,Vietnam,theriseofthewomen’smovement.Eachofthese,inoneorotherway,confirmedandextendedaconceptoftraumaasdebilitatingthepsyche,withpowerful,sometimesindelible,tracesinanindividual’spersonalandsociallife.Butitisinthelast25yearsthattherehasbeenpopularembraceoftheideathatsocietiescanbe,andhavebeen,collectivelytraumatized–andthereforethatpsychiatrists,therapistsandothersincounselingprofessionsarenowkeyplayersinthemanagementofcollectivecrises.Theirbookopenswiththeaftermathof9/11attacksintheUSA:‘inthedaysfollowingtheattacksontheWorldTradeCentreinNewYork,anestimated9000mentalhealthspecialists,including700psychiatrists,intervenedtoofferpsychologicalsupporttosurvivors,witnessesandlocalresidents.’Afarcryfromtheperceivedcollectiveimpactofepisodesofcalamityinprevioustimes–when,ifanything,thefamiliesofthewardead–forexample‐wereenjoinedtobestrongandcalm,andtheex‐combatantswereexpectedtoadaptandgetonwithlifewithaslittlefussaspossible.Sothereisanewconceptual,moralandpoliticaluniverseassociatedwiththeideaoftraumathathasmadeitsmarkglobally,albeitinsomewhatdifferentwaysinparticularplacesandtimes.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->