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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By Keren Friedman-Peleg
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2017
World Rights
200 Pages
ISBN 9781442629318
Published Dec 2016
Online discount: 25%
 $27.95    $20.96
ISBN 9781442650510
Published Dec 2016
Online discount: 25%
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442623989
Published Jan 2017
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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.

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.


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 


"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."

Allan Young, Professor, Departments of Social Studies of Medicine, Anthropology, and Psychiatry, McGill University

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

Joshua Breslau, Medical Anthropologist and Psychiatric Epidemiologist, Rand Corporation