DescriptionIn this paper, I explore the temporal and individual nature of trauma and memory, based on my PhD life-history research on the enduring impact of growing up amidst the Northern Ireland conflict, euphemistically referred to as “The Troubles”. I argue that when situated within the context of the evolving present-self, past Troubles-related encounters have come to be personally appraised and remembered as traumatic. Furthermore, I posit that present-day socio-political discourses on Troubles’ legacy issues and in particular the discourse of ‘victimhood’, impact how these past events are remembered and relived. Throughout this paper, I adopt a folk definition of trauma to refer to events that have had a destabilising impact on one’s sense of self and the coherence of one’s life-narrative. I conclude that by analysing life-narratives from a ‘personal ecology’ perspective, we might establish a better understanding as to why certain events come to be appraised as personally significant and therefore come to have enduring impact over the life-course. I define one’s personal ecology as the dynamic relationship between an individual and his or her socio-cultural world that both shapes and is shaped by that evolving relationship over the life-course. Furthermore, I suggest that by focusing on personal narratives we might develop a better understanding of the personal and temporal dimensions of coming to terms with the past.
|Period||11 Mar 2021|
Not quite the same: A personal ecology perspective on the enduring impact of growing up with the troubles
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy