Analyzing the "Chechen Syndrome": Disadaptation of Veterans with War Trauma in Contemporary Russian Literature

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Date

2012

Authors

Richards, Hillary

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Gheith, Jehanne

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Abstract

There is a new army marching onto the field of contemporary Russian literature: veterans of the recent Chechen Wars. The war veteran as author and/or protagonist has become increasingly popular, bringing to light social issues concerning the wars, including the presence of social disadaptation due to war trauma. This thesis analyzes the appearance of war trauma in contemporary works, connecting themes arising in the literary works to Russian psychological literature written about war trauma from 2000-2011. The first chapter focuses on the works of Arkady Babchenko, Andrei Gelasimov and Denis Butov and examines the similarities and differences in the manifestation of war trauma in their works. In particular, the thesis will show that the protagonists in each examined work all suffer or suffered from war trauma and disadaptation and are at different steps in the process of recovery from trauma. The second chapter will analyze the discourse in Russian psychological literature over the past twelve years, drawing mainly from studies and discussions presented in Military Medical Journal (Voenno-meditsinskii zhurnal) and Journal of Psychology (Psikhologicheskii zhurnal). This psychological literature provides insight into the work being done in the field of war trauma today, highlighting similarities and divergences in the specific case of Russian veterans of the Chechen wars.

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Richards, Hillary (2012). Analyzing the "Chechen Syndrome": Disadaptation of Veterans with War Trauma in Contemporary Russian Literature. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5539.

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