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Cultural Trauma and Recovery

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Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)

Abstract

This psycho-existential framework considers the relationships among cultural factors, the terror inherent in the human condition, and self-esteem. If culture serves as a psychological defense against the terror inherent in the human condition, then the effects of a traumatic disruption of a cultural anxiety buffer would open the individual or community with unmediated “existential terror and anxiety.” Anxiety is part of the human condition and responses to this aversive state vary from the courageous to the destructive. The cultural anxiety buffer requires that the individual or community have faith in the cultural or religious worldview and to see himself or herself as meeting its standards. So by maintaining faith in the cultural worldview and living up to its standards the individual is able to avoid the confrontation with the anxiety and “terror” inherent in the human condition that results from our awareness of our inability to live and continue existence. What happens when the cultural worldview is shattered or weakened? What happens when the individual maintains faith in the cultural worldview but is blocked from achieving its standards by racism, sexism or colonization?

Keywords

Cultural trauma Cultural recovery Motivation Grieving Colonization 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Hawai‘i at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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