A sociology of trauma: Violence and self-identity.Abstract: "This project relates the experience of violence to self-identity. It involves a systematic content analysis of memoirs published on rape, terrorism, genocide, and war. The content analysis provided a complex typology of traumatic stressors that is general to the instances of violence considered. The typology is a style of formal sociology comparable to what has been termed social pattern analysis (Zerubavel 2007). The identified stressors are as follows: the symbolic and cognitive expansion of violence, the loss of self-propriety during violent physical exchanges, the frustration of mundane choices and routines, and the blurring of moral and cognitive boundaries. A theoretical description was fit to the empirical findings. The typology illustrates that more happens in the process of violence than just direct physical harm. I employ the concepts of reflexivity and authenticity to describe the traumatic meaning of these events. Reflexivity and authenticity are two interrelated concepts used to capture aspects of contemporary Western self-identity. During violence, reflexivity and authenticity appear impossible; the stressors undermine an individual's basic confidence in his or her self-concept. As a consequence, individuals experience a comprehensive mortification of the self. Symptoms of posttraumatic disorder (PTSD) result from this experience of severe humiliation."
Justin Allen Snyder
University of Virginia
Joseph E. Davis
Department of Sociology
|Date Added||November 5, 2016|
|Date Modifed||October 17, 2017|
|Collection||UVA scholarship on sexual violence, 1974-|
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