Sociological Theories of Trauma: Discourse in Contemporary Theoretical Sociology

Sociological Theories of Trauma:
Discourse in Contemporary Theoretical Sociology

Kravchenko S.A.

Dr. Sci. (Philos), Prof., Head of the Department of Sociology, MGIMO University; Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia

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Kravchenko S.A. Sociological Theories of Trauma: Discourse in Contemporary Theoretical Sociology. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 4. P. 60-69


In historical and cultural context there are critically analyzed approaches to different manifestations of traumatic development and the very idea of social trauma. P. Sztompka’s theory of becoming displays how the effects of “society in action” and “pathological agencies” cause sociocultural traumas. J.C. Alexander’s theory of cultural construction of trauma and “the dramatization of consciousness” diagnoses the role of artificially constructed short living mystified meanings in the deformation of social consciousness. In the paper special attention is given to the analysis of Zh.T. Toschenko’s theory of ‘the society of trauma’ that suggests and argues for a new specific modality of development. It is shown that with the help of theoretical and methodological tools of this theory there are revalued traditional criteria of the progress of the countries that earlier were defined as “developed”, “developing”, “catching up”, “backward” that did not take into consideration traumatic features of “non-stable states” – their realities and trends of development do not dovetail either with evolution or with revolution modality. Relying on the postulates and conclusions of this theory the author of the paper proposes further investigations into the issues of society of trauma.

trauma; nonlinearity; reflexivity; becoming; “society in action” construction of trauma; “the dramatization of consciousness”; the society of trauma; modality of development; complex causality; human capital; digitalization


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Content No 4, 2020