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O. A. Dobrina,

NSPU, Novosibirsk,



This paper purposes to generalize, systematize and clarify scientific literature theoretical approaches to the analysis of the concept of «cultural trauma» in Piotr Sztompka’s theory to perform a system analysis and search for indicators for the empirical operationalization of this concept. Cultural trauma is considered as one of the main threats to identity in high social risk environment.

The article examines the influence of social risk environment on the occurrence of traumatic events in social culture. Cultural trauma is caused by social change, carried out in conditions of high social risk, as it is generated by the social activity of different social groups, which are guided by different interests. These risks may relate to interpersonal interactions, information and group processes, inter-group coordination or goal setting. Implemented social changes become traumatic events if they are sudden, large-scale and destabilizing to the usual social order and paralyze the creative activity of the social subject.

Cultural trauma threatens to personal, social and cultural identity, distorting a person’s or group’s perceptions of themselves, the continuity of life and the meaning of the historical path of the community.

The theoretical substantiation of the fact that different groups differ in the degree of susceptibility to cultural trauma is presented in the paper. The article identified and logically justified indicators of social traumatization, united in four groups of factors: socio-demographic, socio-psychological, socio-cultural and socio-political factors. Identified in the theoretical analysis of sociological interpretation of the cultural trauma phenomenon may be helpful in clarifying many of scientific problems in the life of various social parts of contemporary Russian society.


Keywords: social risk; threats to identity; cultural trauma; system analysis; empirical interpretation.

For citation: Dobrina O. A. Social Risks of Modernity and the Threats to Identity: Systematic Analysis of P. Sztompka’s Concept of Cultural Trauma // Systems Psychology and Sociology. 2019. № 2 (30). P. 77–87. DOI: 10.25688/2223-6872.2019.30.2.07


Dobrina Olga Aleksandrovna, PhD in Sociology, associate professor at the Department of Social Psychology and Victimology of the Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Novosibirsk, Russia.

Е-mail: dobrina-o@mail.ru.





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