Some of the essays explore existing research and theory about cosmopolitanism and apply it to specific case studies; others attempt to extend this theoretical framework and engage in a dialogue with the broader disciplines of media and cultural studies. Overall, this variety of approaches generates valuable insights into the central issue of the book: the role played by the media, in its various forms, in either encouraging or discouraging cosmopolitanist identifications among its audiences.
Trauma, Mediation, Global Crisis
This chapter calls for a further interaction between trauma theory and cosmopolitanism studies. Whereas the two areas have developed in separate disciplines and in different intellectual, institutional and discursive contexts, there is a set of shared concerns and orientations that might render this cross-fertilization as helpful for the further development of both disciplines. Below I provide an overview of trauma theory, its relationship to media cultures, and points of convergence between this discipline and cosmopolitanism studies, specifically with regard to the importance of mediation and discourses of globalization.
The concept of psychological trauma has received increasing interest during the last three decades among psychiatric groups, academic disciplines, literary circles and popular culture to such an extent that scholars such as Roger Luckhurst (2008) have argued for the emergence of a ‘trauma paradigm’. Whereas the psychopathology was originally theorized during a period ranging roughly from the 1860s to the 1920s, it was largely ignored by psychiatrists until the late 1960s, when, within the climate of identity politics of the period, feminist activists and Vietnam veterans were urging official psychiatric communities for further attention to issues such as sexual abuse and combat neurosis, respectively. Research that was conducted in response to these campaigns led to the inclusion of the term ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’ in the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorder in 1980, a moment that is considered to be a turning point in the genealogy of the psychopathology. The official recognition of the term led...
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