SWOV Catalogus


Perpetual trauma and its organizations : Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and drunk driving revisited.
20131116 ST [electronic version only]
Schmidt, I.B.
Memory Studies, 2013, February 12 [Epub ahead of print], 15 p., 19 ref.

Samenvatting In the 1980s, an anti-drunk-driving movement emerged, seemingly out of nowhere. How is it that this movement could flourish and have such dramatic effects? More significantly, how has Mothers Against Drunk Driving continued to flourish even today? In this article, I demonstrate that more than a strong organizational basis, the right historical context, and the appropriate management of material and symbolic resources, the continuing success of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and drunk driving depends on Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s ability to evoke intense emotions and fears surrounding drunk driving. Generalizing from Alexander et al.’s cultural trauma theory, I introduce two concepts: perpetual trauma and the trauma organization. Perpetual trauma is based on potentiality, a sense of future danger, and iconic victims/perpetrators. Beyond an improved understanding of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and drunk driving, perpetual trauma theory offers a sociological explanation for how individuals and societies understand their deepest fears and emotions in postmodern society. (Author/publisher)
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