Trauma and culture: on Freud’s writing about trauma and its resonances in contemporary cultural discourse

Article


Shinebourne, P. 2006. Trauma and culture: on Freud’s writing about trauma and its resonances in contemporary cultural discourse. British Journal of Psychotherapy. 22 (3), pp. 335-345. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-0118.2006.tb00289.x
TypeArticle
TitleTrauma and culture: on Freud’s writing about trauma and its resonances in contemporary cultural discourse
AuthorsShinebourne, P.
Abstract

ABSTRACT This paper considers Freud's concept of trauma and its resonances in contemporary cultural discourse, focusing on the complex temporality and the unknowable dimension of traumatic experience. The paper traces the shifting emphasis from Freud's initial intent to discover the original traumatic event, towards accepting the indeterminacy of what can be known in this experience. It is suggested that this psychoanalytic understanding of trauma provides a key perspective for considering the problematic issue of representation of'real' events in the broader cultural domain. The approach to trauma discussed in this paper offers a framework in which it is possible to allow multiple interpretations and shifting perspectives on events, to stay open to unknowable dimensions, and at the same time to accept the presence of layers from the past. Lastly, the impact of Freud's insights on trauma on historical, literary and cinematic discourse is explored through discussing a few examples in detail.

Research GroupQualitative and Mixed Methods Research group
Applied Health Psychology group
PublisherWiley
JournalBritish Journal of Psychotherapy
ISSN0265-9883
Publication dates
PrintMar 2006
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Jan 2010
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-0118.2006.tb00289.x
LanguageEnglish
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