Narration, silence. Transmission transgénérationnelle du trauma psychosocial chez des petits-enfants de victimes de la dictature militaire chilienne

Translated title of the contribution: Narration, silence. Transgenerational transmission of psychosocial trauma in grandchildren of victims of the Chilean military dictatorship

Ximena Faúndez, Marcela Cornejo, Jean Luc Brackelaire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The phenomenon of the transgenerational transmission of trauma resulting from organized violence has been studied in several contexts, such as the Holocaust and the Latin American dictatorships of the 1970s. In both cases, research has focused on the second generation, the victims' children. Only recently have these studies paid attention to the third generation, their grandchildren. The article presents a study that considered this third generation, the grandchildren of victims of political imprisonment and torture during the Chilean military dictatorship (1973 to 1990). Through life stories, 14 people, approximately 21 years old, related their experiences as grandchildren of victims of political imprisonment and torture in this period. The analysis of the stories reveals a narrative process which, over a number of stages, transgenerationally constructs the life stories of grandchildren upon the basis of a logic of transmission and appropriation of trauma through family stories and memories about their grandparents' traumatic experiences, which dominate the family dynamics of avoidance and silence about the past. Grandchildren have information about their grandparents' traumatic stories, and thus include temporal and spatial coordinates in their own stories to reconstruct their predecessors' experiences. Two scenes are relevant in the grandchildren's stories, due to their value as events that interrupt their biographic and narrative continuity: the grandfather's detention, imagined and reconstructed by the grandchildren as the element that articulates their stories- and thus profusely described; and his torture, which, although denounced by the grandchildren, creates a generational discontinuity in family life and therefore cannot be represented, narrated, or integrated into the grandchildren's stories.

Translated title of the contributionNarration, silence. Transgenerational transmission of psychosocial trauma in grandchildren of victims of the Chilean military dictatorship
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)173-204
Number of pages32
JournalCahiers de Psychologie Clinique
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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