Society of Trauma in Search of Healing (Invitation to the Discussion)

Society of Trauma in Search of Healing (Invitation to the Discussion)

Volkov Yu.G.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Director of the South Russian Branch of the FCTAS RAS, Scientific Director of the Institute of Sociology and Regional Studies of Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia

ID of the Article:

For citation:

Volkov Yu.G. Society of Trauma in Search of Healing (Invitation to the Discussion). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 9. P. 16-27


The article was written as a response to the publication of the monograph “Trauma Society” by Zh.T. Toshchenko, it is an analytical review of the ideas presented there. First of all it concerns the basic concept of this monograph – “a trauma society”. The article systematizes and examines in detail some generic and specific characteristics of such a society represented in the monograph. The author of the article, while carrying out a comparative analysis of the cultural trauma concept by P. Shtompka and trauma society concept by Toshchenko, shows significant theoretical differences between them as well as certain points of similarity. He emphasizes relevance of the panoramic approach developed in the monograph for modern sociological science as well as importance of broad macro-sociological generalizations for studying current Russian society. The concept of a “trauma society” based on the statement of the fundamental importance of development for any society postulates social trauma as a condition that impedes any development. The author of the article by means of textual analysis shows depth and interdependence of problems raised in the monograph which are related to the formation of a trauma society in Russia. He outlines necessity of elaborating some theoretical paradigm based on the synthesis of sociology and social philosophy. At the same time he states that the extensive material obtained by means of empirical sociological research is a basis for verification and specification of theoretical propositions reaching the level of philosophical and historical conceptualization. The author of the article emphasizes debatability of the “trauma society” concept, which needs further reflection in the domestic sociological discourse.

trauma society; cultural trauma; development; progress; panoramic approach; evolution; social uncertainty; social inequality; alienation
Content No 9, 2020