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Activist as Symptom: Healing Trauma within a Ruptured Collective

By Sara Granovetter

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Abstract

Animal activists serve as symptom-bearers for trans-species collective trauma within Western-industrial society. Findings from literature on traumatology and nonhuman animal activism, contemporary discourse, and the voices of ten activists currently in the field suggest that many animal activists suffer some form of trauma. Activist trauma arises through overlapping, complex relational processes of intersubjective attunement with nonhuman animals and embeddedness within a human social context that disavows nonhuman suffering. In understanding activist trauma as a symptom of a dysfunctional system, I depathologize activist suffering and view activists as integral members of a whole society that seeks healing.

Date 2021
Publication Title Society & Animals
Volume 29
Issue 7
Pages 659-678
ISBN/ISSN 1568-5306, 1063-1119
DOI 10.1163/15685306-bja10051
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal activism
  2. Limbic system
  3. open access
  4. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  5. Psychiatry and psychology
  6. rescue
  7. slaughterhouses
  8. trauma
  9. Witnesses
Badges
  1. open access