Broken stories

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This chapter addresses how concepts of narrative and narration have been used in theories of cultural trauma. My point of departure is an article by Wulf Kansteiner and Harald Weilnböck, where they criticize the concept of cultural trauma or what they call the paradigm of “deconstructive trauma discourse.” They argue that this paradigm not only misuses the concept of psychological trauma by adapting it to a cultural realm, but also refuses to recognize the significance of narratives in trauma therapy. I will challenge their criticism by taking a closer look at how the concept of cultural trauma has been defined and used in cultural studies. I will also argue that the theories of cultural trauma recognize the significance of narration as a process, although they criticize certain types of narratives or closed narrative form. Within this discussion I intend to shed light on how the concept of narrative has travelled and is used in the discussions focusing on cultural trauma.


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