Chapter

The Trauma of Social Change: A Case of Postcommunist Societies

Piotr Sztompka

in Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520235946
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936768 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520235946.003.0005
The Trauma of Social Change: A Case of Postcommunist Societies

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In social life, change is a universal and pervasive factor. Without change, there is no society. Society is nothing else but change, movement and transformation, action and interaction, construction and reconstruction, even becoming rather than stable being. The vocation of the idea of trauma as applied to society starts with the realization that change itself, irrespective of the domain it touches, the groups it affects, and even irrespective of its content, may have unfavorable effects which will bring shocks and wounds to the social and cultural part. The twentieth century was often classified as the “age of change.” The speed, scope, depth, and wonder of changes are perhaps unequaled in any period of earlier history. Large changes become potentially traumatizing when sudden, comprehensive, fundamental, and surprising.

Keywords: postcommunist societies; social change; culture; trauma

Chapter.  15676 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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