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Title: Trauma, discourse and communicative limits
Authors: Pickering, Michael
Keightley, Emily
Keywords: Trauma
Pain
Memory
History
Narrative
Life-story
Rhetoric
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Routledge (© Taylor & Francis)
Citation: PICKERING, M. and KEIGHTLEY, E., 2009. Trauma, discourse and communicative limits. Critical Discourse Studies, 6 (4), pp. 237-249.
Abstract: Trauma is a term that is widely used in memory studies, along with a number of other academic fields and disciplines. This article takes issue with its loose and indiscriminate application. Such application generates an unresolved paradox: trauma is associated with memories of events that are uncontrollable, yet large-scale commemorative practices or processes of social reconciliation assume that experiences of these are controllable, amenable to being assimilated into narrative form and so available for rhetorical purposes. Following an examination of this paradox, the article looks in detail at two examples of experience involving painful memories of two kinds – those which have become integrated into relatively easily told stories, and which can then involve rhetorical work, and those which have not become woven into a life-narrative and so are not available for such work. The article also considers some of the methodological and analytical problems that occur when traumatic or painful memories arise in the course of sociological fieldwork.
Description: This article was published in the journal, Critical Discourse Studies [© Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group)]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17405900903180970
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/17405900903180970
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/5419
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17405900903180970
ISSN: 1740-5904
1740-5912
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Social Sciences)

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