Trauma in Words: Comparison of the Coverage in Le Devoir and the Toronto Star of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake
This chapter examines to what extent the media employ the terminology of trauma to discuss disasters, since the media play a significant role in describing trauma. Norris et al. (Norris et al. 2002: 208) define a disaster as “an acute, collectively experienced traumatic event with a sudden onset”, which can cause enormous damage to the social and environmental structures of a community. The trauma experienced through man-made disasters (e.g., the Holocaust, 9/11) has generated a field of trauma studies which includes terminology that describes the psychological manifestations of trauma. This paper analyzes the use of trauma terminology in the French language newspaper Le Devoir (Montreal, Quebec) and the English language newspaper the Toronto Star (Toronto, Ontario). The paper is divided in two parts. The first part addresses the theoretical background of media, disaster, and trauma. The second part discusses the methods and results of the newspaper analysis.
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