Chapter

On the Social Construction of Moral Universals: The “Holocaust” from War Crime to Trauma Drama

Jeffrey C. Alexander

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/9780520235946.003.0006
On the Social Construction of Moral Universals: The “Holocaust” from War Crime to Trauma Drama

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This chapter explores the social creation of cultural fact and the effects of the cultural fact upon social and moral life. Lay trauma theory was compromised with the contemporary forms of thinking. These commonsensical forms of reasoning have deeply informed thinking about the effects of the Holocaust. Psychoanalytic and enlightenment forms of lay trauma thought has infused academic efforts at understanding what happened after the death camp revelations. The content of this chapter also contributes additional information to theoretical discussion, and it is related to a different but obvious empirical case. In connection to this matter, Nazism had initiated a trauma in modern history, but it was a perceptible trauma presenting “time out of time” in Victor Turner's sense.

Keywords: lay trauma theory; Holocaust; moral life; Nazism; history

Chapter.  27815 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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