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Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity$
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Jeffrey Alexander

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235946

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235946.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

The Trauma of Social Change: A Case of Postcommunist Societies

The Trauma of Social Change: A Case of Postcommunist Societies

(p.155) Chapter 5 The Trauma of Social Change: A Case of Postcommunist Societies
Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity

Piotr Sztompka

University of California Press

In social life, change is a universal and pervasive factor. Without change, there is no society. Society is nothing else but change, movement and transformation, action and interaction, construction and reconstruction, even becoming rather than stable being. The vocation of the idea of trauma as applied to society starts with the realization that change itself, irrespective of the domain it touches, the groups it affects, and even irrespective of its content, may have unfavorable effects which will bring shocks and wounds to the social and cultural part. The twentieth century was often classified as the “age of change.” The speed, scope, depth, and wonder of changes are perhaps unequaled in any period of earlier history. Large changes become potentially traumatizing when sudden, comprehensive, fundamental, and surprising.

Keywords:   postcommunist societies, social change, culture, trauma

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