Interesting book about victimology -The Empire of Trauma: An Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood

Posted: July 2, 2010 in 2010

In The Empire of Trauma, Didier Fassin and Richard Rechtman examine the history of trauma and explore the transition of the victim from a marginalized to a respected role, and trauma itself, once considered a personal defect, to a moral category. Fassin, a leading French social anthropologist, and Rechtman, a psychiatrist, respectively, do not seek to evaluate the validity of this change, but rather examine its societal implications. Their conclusion is unsettling: while trauma allows victims to gain society’s support, it has also become a politically charged, moralizing force that decides who qualifies as a victim. Moreover, personal experience and individual history are erased and replaced by the universalizing force of trauma. The Empire of Trauma is divided into four parts, each with several chapters. Part I traces the history…

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