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Brodskiy A.I. Trauma and Construct in National Self-Conscience (The Case Study of the History of Eastern European Jewish Communities of the Late XIXth — Early XXth Centuries)

Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2015-12 in rubric "Tradition and innovation", pages 1783-1793.

Resume: The object of the research is the processes of national identity formation. The research is based on the history of Eastern European Jewish communities of the late XIXth - early XXth centuries. In his research A. Brodsky examines the role of psychological trauma in the process of national identity formation as well as the importance of such psychological factors as exclusion, repression and sublimation. Special attention is given to the processes of assimilation and self-isolation of nations in the course of their cultural development. Those processes were identified by such terms as Haskala, traditionalism, modernism, spiritual and political Zionism in the history of European culture. The author proceeds from the constructivist views on the process of nation's formation which, according to the author, can be completed with some provisions of psychoanalysis. The paper demonstrates that in both individual and national development early psychological trauma results not only in different painful symptoms and complexes, but also is a necessary moment in the development of self-conscience. National self-conscience reacts to traumatic circumstances in the two ways: firstly, through self-denying and desire to assume “a foreign identity”, i. e. assimilation; then if the first step was unsuccessful it comes to self-isolation and regression to its early states. However the stage of assimilation doesn’t go unnoticed and in the course of the following self-isolation process culture uses principles of the construction of meanings, which have been obtained at the stage of self-denial. Both self-denial and self-isolation are neurotic reactions of a nation to traumatic circumstances. However, cultural development is impossible without these reactions.

Keywords: assimilation, Haskalah, Jews, Europe, cultural exclusion, psychology, ideology, nation, self-isolation, psychological trauma

DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2015.12.15885

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