The Medical, Social, and Cultural Construction and Production of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Arno Görgen


Due to its personal, social, and economic phenomenology and its consequences, it is no surprise that PTSD has spread from the medical field to the social, popular cultural, and political discourse, in particular in US American culture. No TV show, no movie, or any other media format can be found, in which trauma isn’t a part of its narratives. Hence, if PTSD is to be approached analytically, it is not only important to consider its medical history, but also to consider (popular) cultural reflections on PTSD, since these are particularly important instruments to convey concepts of trauma in their media artefacts. In this paper, starting from a brief history of the medical development of the PTSD-diagnosis, we would like to draw attention to the political and social discourses of PTSD. Both aspects, medical definition and political-social reflection, have become an important topos of film and other popular cultural artefacts like comics or digital games. This analysis will focus on the predominant US American popular culture, as it is presumably the most important producer of popular culture media. The range of these adaptations is to be discussed here. Finally, we conclude with a theoretical framework of this reflection process.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arno Görgen
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Unit Communication DesignBern University of the Arts HKBBernSwitzerland

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