PTSD and the Politics of Trauma in Israel: A Nation on the Couch

PTSD and the Politics of Trauma in Israel: A Nation on the Couch


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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, has long been defined as a mental trauma that solely affects the individual. However, against the backdrop of contemporary Israel, what role do families, health experts, donors, and the national community at large play in interpreting and responding to this individualized trauma?

In PTSD and the Politics of Trauma in Israel, Keren Friedman-Peleg sheds light on a new way of speaking about mental vulnerability and national belonging in contemporary Israel. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted at The Israel Center for Victims of Terror and War and The Israel Trauma Coalition between 2004 and 2009, Friedman-Peleg’s rich ethnographic study challenges the traditional and limited definitions of trauma. In doing so, she exposes how these clinical definitions have been transformed into new categories of identity, thereby raising new dynamics of power, as well as new forms of dialogue.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442650510
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 12/16/2016
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Keren Friedman-Peleg is a senior lecturer at the School of Behavioral Science and the Head of the President’s Program for Excellence at the College of Management–Academic Studies in Israel.

Table of Contents


Chapter One
Birth of Agencies, Birth of an Interpretative Framework

Chapter Two
Trauma and Capital: Bearers of Knowledge, Keepers of Cashboxes

Chapter Three
Trauma and the Camera: Labeling Stress, Marketing the Fear

Chapter Four
They Shoot, Cry and Are Treated: The "Clinical Nucleus" of Trauma among IDF Soldiers

Chapter Five
Woman, Man and Disorder: Trauma in the Intimate Sphere of the Family

Chapter Six
Wandering PTSD: Ethnic Diversity and At-Risk Groups across the Country

Chapter Seven
Taking Hold: Resilience Program in the Southern Town of Sderot

Chapter Eight
Treading Cautiously around Sensitive Clinical and Political Domains


What People are Saying About This

Joshua Breslau

"PTSD and the Politics of Trauma in Israel is an important contribution to the anthropological literature on PTSD."

Allan Young

"Keren Friedman-Peleg’s ethnographic study is an incisive contribution to our understanding of how regional and national history, local institutional cultures, and the expectations of a diverse and divided population shape the clinical phenomenology of PTSD and an unending collective trauma."

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