This important study explores various dimensions of trauma from an integrative, interdisciplinary perspective. Articles by international experts examine cultural intricacies and the moral and political nuances that shape individuals' responses to particular traumatic situations.
This volume places the causes, consequences, and treatment of trauma in a social and cultural context. The authors assert that the Western definition of post-traumatic stress disorder does not adequately address the complexity of different trauma experiences that necessarily depend on the social construction of the meaning of traumatic events. Through extensive examples by indigenous authors, this book sets out to demonstrate new ways of viewing trauma and its sequelae in specific social contexts. By taking a close look at conceptual, sociopolitical, and ethical issues in the understanding and treatment of the causes and effects of severe trauma, the authors succeed in convincing the reader of the need for a far more comprehensive approach to these issues than the Western tradition has supplied. Although this book was written primarily for psychiatrists, it would be extremely useful to any mental health practitioner dealing with victims of trauma. It also demonstrates examples of innovative research from a variety of social science disciplines. The table of contents is particularly useful in setting forth the excellent organization of this book. The index is also useful in offering general words with subheading phrases for a very specific index search. The authors convincingly assert that trauma and its sequelae exist in social, cultural, political, and ethical contexts that determine the impact of the trauma as well as providing the means for recovery. This extremely well-organized volume explores the conceptual definitions of a wide range of different traumata, investigates the range of social and political contexts in which trauma occur, and examines the ethical implications forprofessionals who treat trauma survivors and the responsibility of these practitioners to the societies they serve. Each major subject area is addressed by several researchers from a diverse assortment of cultures, each contributing unique insights into the specific situation they describe.