ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Valentina V. Yarskaya-Smirnova Doctor of Philosophy, Professor,
Yuri Gagarin State Technical University of Saratov, Saratov, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0002-1504-3439
Temporality of trauma (reflecting on the book by Zh. T. Toshchenko).
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2023. Vol. 14. No. 1. P. 67-77

Дата поступления статьи: 23.02.2023
Topic: Transformation of Russian society in sociological retrospective

For citation:
Yarskaya-Smirnova V. V. Temporality of trauma (reflecting on the book by Zh. T. Toshchenko). Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2023. Vol. 14. No. 1. P. 67-77


This article introduces the reader to reflections on the fundamental scientific publication of Zh. T. Toshchenko. The intersection of the discourses of historical time and social trauma is explained as a still poorly studied phenomenon of reality. All sections of the book are analysed in detail, in the form of a round table with scientists interested in the subject of the monograph under discussion. The article shows Toshchenko's interest in detailing the conceptual apparatus of the book, his desire to reveal concepts, paradigms, theories and definitions, integrating scrupulousness in the analysis of cases and examples with a generalisation of world and national history. The article contains an analysis of the disclosure in the monograph of the categories of progress, evolution and revolution, the definition of generic and specific features of the society of trauma in the absence of a development strategy and state ideology. In unison with the new bestseller, the article gives an example of a revolution in the discourse of the refraction of time in Russian history as a motley non-linear temporality of 1917 and the entire 20th century. A dramatic traumatic intersection of historical time by the event of a revolution that shook the world and overturned the established system of social coordinates was revealed. The article emphasises the conclusion about the Russian trauma as a result of historical upheavals that exposed the crisis of civilisation, the relationship between Russia and the West, the people and the intelligentsia, power and society. The temporal turn turns out to be a useful tool for understanding the concept of trauma of society, that has come into trend of modern scientific directions. The article provides with additional examples of traumatic events and cases of optimisation in Russian education and healthcare. Monographic conclusions relate to overcoming the trauma of society by means of achieving the strategic goal of development - social justice, solving social problems, eliminating inequality and mobilising creative potential. The article reveals the merits of the monograph, including interdisciplinarity and universality, original analytical perspectives and conceptual possibilities. The article also contains recommendations for universities to create a special course for undergraduate and graduate students on the basis of the book´s content.


social trauma, evolution, revolution, temporality, nonlinearity, optimisation, precariat, inequality, structuring

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