Trauma, Emotion and the Construction of Community in World Politics

Ms Emma Hutchison (2008). Trauma, Emotion and the Construction of Community in World Politics PhD Thesis, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland.

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n33670849_phd_totalthesis.pdf The first file is the "total thesis" file, i.e. the complete approved thesis manuscript application/pdf 16.71MB 0
Author Ms Emma Hutchison
Thesis Title Trauma, Emotion and the Construction of Community in World Politics
School, Centre or Institute School of Political Science and International Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2008-10-01
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Prof Roland Bleiker
Dr Prue Ahrens
Dr Barbara Sullivan
Total pages 250
Total colour pages 15
Total black and white pages 235
Subjects 360000 Policy and Political Science
Formatted abstract
Trauma is commonly understood to be a solitary, isolating experience. It shatters one’s sense of
self and belonging, confronting individuals with something so horrific that it belies comprehension.
An inability to adequately express how this feels either physically or emotionally is thought to
deepen the sense of solitude. But trauma can also construct community. Traumatic experiences
often pull people together, providing individuals and collectives with a common purpose and sense
of belonging. Key to this seeming paradox is the process of representation, which can generate the
shared meanings needed to constitute community. I argue that to appreciate the nature and
implications of this paradoxical nature of trauma we need to have a better scholarly understanding
of the role played by emotions, which although central to trauma have thus far been neglected by
social science research into trauma and its relationship to community. My thesis addresses this
shortcoming in conceptual and empirical ways. Part I examines literatures from a range of different
disciplines in order to increase our conceptual understanding of how representations of individual
trauma and emotion can abet the construction of political community. Part II then empirically
illustrates the issues at stake by analysing the role that photographic representations employed by
media and non-governmental aid organisations played in generating the substantial transnational
community following the Boxing Day tsunami that devastated parts of East and South Asia in
December 2004.
Keyword Trauma, emotion/s, political community, representation, Boxing Day tsunami, media, aid,
Additional Notes The following pages need to be printed in colour: 139, 140, 146, 148, 154, 155, 161, 162, 167, 169, 181, 184, 187, 190, 193

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Created: Fri, 07 Nov 2008, 19:08:35 EST by Ms Emma Hutchison on behalf of Library - Information Access Service