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Photo of Ekatherina Zhukova.

Ekatherina Zhukova

Researcher

Photo of Ekatherina Zhukova.

Trauma management: Chernobyl in Belarus and Ukraine

Author

  • Ekatherina Zhukova

Summary, in English

Although the Chernobyl nuclear disaster happened in the Soviet Union in 1986, we still do not know how the most affected states – Ukraine and Belarus – have managed this tragedy since independence. Drawing on the concept of cultural trauma, this article compares Chernobyl narratives in Belarus and Ukraine over the past 28 years. It shows that national narratives of Chernobyl differ, representing the varying ways in which the state overcomes trauma. Our understanding of post‐communist transformations can be improved by analysing trauma management narratives and their importance for new national identity construction. These narratives also bring new insights to our vision of cultural trauma by linking it to ontological insecurity. The article demonstrates how the state can become an arena of trauma process as it commands material and symbolic resources to deal with trauma. In general, it contributes to a better understanding of how the same traumatic event can become a source of solidarity in one community, but a source of hostility in another.

Publishing year

2016

Language

English

Pages

195-215

Publication/Series

British Journal of Sociology

Volume

67

Issue

2

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Topic

  • Political Science

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0007-1315