Trauma, Culture, and PTSD

Front Cover
Springer, Jun 9, 2016 - Psychology - 125 pages
This book examines the social contexts in which trauma is created by those who study it, whether considering the way in which trauma afflicts groups, cultures, and nations, or the way in which trauma is transmitted down the generations. As Alford argues, ours has been called an age of trauma. Yet, neither trauma nor post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are scientific concepts. Trauma has been around forever, even if it was not called that. PTSD is the creation of a group of Vietnam veterans and psychiatrists, designed to help explain the veterans' suffering. This does not detract from the value of PTSD, but sets its historical and social context. The author also confronts the attempt to study trauma scientifically, exploring the use of technologies such as magnetic resonance imagining (MRI). Alford concludes that the scientific study of trauma often reflects a willed ignorance of traumatic experience. In the end, trauma is about suffering.

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PTSD Is a Culturally Bound Concept
Trauma Is Political
Extreme Trauma and Its Transmission
The Meaning of Trauma and the Place of Neuroscience
Conclusion How Massive Trauma Works
Previously Published by C Fred Alford

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About the author (2016)

C. Fred Alford is Professor of Government and Politics and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA. He is author of over fifteen books on moral psychology, including Trauma and Forgiveness (2013).

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