Is it Time to Give Up the Concept of Collective Trauma? On the Need for New (Old) Lexicons to Frame Social Suffering


¿Ha llegado el momento de prescindir del concepto de trauma colectivo? Sobre la necesidad de nuevos (viejos) léxicos para abordar el sufrimiento social

Abstract: The present paper focuses on some of the tensions that have been recurrent in the concept of psychic trauma since the late nineteenth century. It further argues that these tensions have been introduced into the concepts of collective trauma and cultural trauma, but have remained undertheorized. These theories have not been able to understand the relationship established between the structural forms of damage and its eventual forms. We therefore draw on some critiques of these concepts to point out the impasses of cultural trauma theories in understanding the dialectic between the general and the particular that is at play in socially mediated psychic suffering. We propose that in order to bring this understanding to fruition, it is necessary to look back to the tradition of critical theory and its concept of suffering, and take up its normative character through a theory of harm based on the concept of negativity.

Resumen: El presente artículo se centra en algunas de las tensiones que han sido recurrentes en el concepto de trauma psíquico desde finales del siglo xix. Además, se plantea que esas tensiones se han introducido en el concepto de trauma colectivo y de trauma cultural, pero han permanecido insuficientemente teorizadas. Estas teorías no han sido capaces de entender la relación que se establece entre las formas estructurales de daño y sus formas puntuales. Por ello, se recurre a algunas críticas de estos conceptos para señalar los impasses de las teorías del trauma cultural para comprender la dialéctica entre lo general y lo particular que está en juego en el sufrimiento psíquico socialmente mediado. Proponemos que para llevar esta comprensión a cabo, es preciso volver a mirar a la tradición de la teoría crítica y su concepto de sufrimiento, así como retomar su carácter normativo en una teoría del daño basada en el concepto de negatividad.

Keywords: Psychic Trauma, Collective Trauma, Social Suffering, Harm, Critical Theory.

Palabras clave: trauma psíquico, trauma colectivo, sufrimiento social, daño, teoría crítica.

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