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Cultural Trauma


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Table of Contents

1. Cultural trauma and collective memory; 2. Remembering and forgetting; 3. Out of Africa; 4. The black public sphere and the heritage of slavery; 5. Memory and representation; 6. Civil rights and black nationalism; References; Index.

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Ron Eyerman explores the formation of African American identity through the cultural trauma of slavery.

About the Author

Ronald Eyerman is the holder of the Segerstedt Chair of Sociology, and a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University (1900-2000). His recent publications include Music and Social Movements (Cambridge, 1998).


'The international social-scientific readership is by now trained to expect from Ron Eyerman research of the highest calibre and an above average quantity of insights and original observations ... and the reader won't be disappointed ... In this book, as in previous books, Eyerman explores a well-travelled ground but brings from his expedition findings which make it not seem to have been familiar at all. Eyerman has chosen to investigate trauma as a factor of identity formation and for that reason the importance of his findings reaches far beyond the challenging task of understanding African-American history. Trauma, genuine or retrospectively construed, processed by the sieve of intellectually recycled memo, acquires in the age of brand new and newly reawakened nationalisms, a truly universal significance.' Zygmuunt Baumann, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Leeds University 'Ron Eyerman has written an extremely fascinating, intellectually exciting book showing how the cultural trauma of slavery has influenced African-American identity, from the period of slavery itself until the present.' Canadian Journal of Sociology Online 'Eyerman does well to incorporate blacks' globalized consciousness and to contextualize their shifting perspectives and concerns. This ambitious attempt to provide a framework for explaining black identity and social movements since emancipation offers intriguing insights that merit consideration.' Journal of American History

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