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Conclusion: Ron Eyerman and the Study of Cultural Trauma

By Eric Taylor Woods
  • Ron EyermanEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Cultural Sociology book series (CULTSOC)

Abstract

In the conclusion, Eric Woods reflects on Eyerman’s unique contributions to the development of cultural trauma theory as a research paradigm. In so doing, Woods pays special attention to Eyerman’s position within the burgeoning field, particularly with regard to the spectrum that ranges from “realist” or “naturalistic” interpretations of this phenomenon (Neal) to interpretations that are more “constructivist” (Alexander and Smelser). Eyerman’s middle position is staked out by his claim that cultural trauma cannot be fabricated out of simply any and every occurrence. Rather, it is possible only in the aftermath of events that are so extreme in their degree of violence (e.g., political assassinations, systematic human bondage, mass murder, war) that they naturally lead to massive levels of negative affect throughout a given society. Only in the wake of such catastrophic events can cultural traumas then be constructed.

References

  1. Alexander, Jeffrey. 2004. Toward a Theory of Cultural Trauma. In Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity, ed. Jeffrey Alexander, Ronald Eyerman, Bernhard Giesen, Neil Smelser, and Piotr Sztompka. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  2. Alexander, Jeffrey, Ronald Eyerman, Bernhard Giesen, Neil Smelser, and Piotr Sztompka (eds.). 2004. Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Eyerman, Ronald. 2008. The Assassination of Theo van Gogh: From Social Drama to Cultural Trauma. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eyerman, Ronald. 2011. The Cultural Sociology of Political Assassination. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  5. Eyerman, Ronald. 2012. Cultural Trauma: Emotion and Narration. In The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology, ed. Jeffrey Alexander, Ronald Jacobs, and Philip Smith. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Neal, Arthur G. 1998. National Trauma and Collective Memory: Major Events in the American Century. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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