Remembering and Resilience after Traumatic Social Loss: A Multicultural Perspective

Friday, July 18, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: F206
Oral Presentation
Sachiko TAKITA-ISHII , International College of Arts and Sciences, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Japan
Gabriela FRIED AMILIVIA , Sociology, California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
A challenging realm for Global Sociology is the cross-cultural thinking and processing of the experiences of collective remembering after mass social trauma and post-traumatic resilience across cultures and generations. In this presentation we will develop a theoretical and applied multi-cultural framework for working on the intersubjectivity of memory, with a focus on the unprocessed dimension of social experiences of traumatic loss, building on the latent, private, intimate individual and cultural aspects of experiences of collective memory and transmission.  We will also work on the concept –building on Halbwachsian work of  “undercurrents of memory,”  incorporating the more recent concept of “moral injury,” a contemporary development out of the post-traumatic stress literature.

This line of grounded theoretical research, developed by collaborative efforts by the authors over the last decade, explores the underlying conflicts of the unresolved past as they are woven into the fabric of contemporary cultures, the effects of unprocessed experience lying in the undercurrents of collective memory, often excluded or absent from the public narratives of memory, but which  paradoxically retain a profound intersubjective and cultural presence, until they finally push their way into the public realm. Social studies of collective memory need to include this realm of the unprocessed (latent but present) experiences and transmission.

The authors will develop a joint conceptual approach to look at individual/community and cultural traumatic remembering, and the resilience of certain memories, over time.  Applied research cases will include Southern Cone political authoritarianism, the Japanese American incarceration experience in the US as well as the Japanese memories of the 3.11. Great Tohoku Earthquake.