Despite the upsurge of research and public interest in the etiology and lived experience of trauma survivor and descendant resilience, much of the scholarship continues to present a reductionist binary reading of resilience and vulnerability often perceived as signifying wellness and distress. Ethnographic interviews with Jewish-Israeli Holocaust descendants explore the phenomenological experience of transmitted trauma legacies and their self-perceived sense of vulnerability and resilience. Descendants’ accounts disclose culturally particular configurations of emotional vulnerability and strength. Describing transmitted emotional wounds as “scratches” and as a “badge of honor”, intergenerationally transmitted effects of parental trauma are normalized and valorized. Findings disclose the way culturally grounded spiritual and moral-political worldviews mediate descendant perceptions of the empowering meaning of their emotional wounds. Descendants also link memories of silent parent-child embodied interaction with individual and collective moral meaning, pointing to potentially distressing parent-child interactions as both risk and resilience factors. Results illustrate the ways that resilience and vulnerability interact, qualifying each other in the lived process of cultural meaning making. Findings also challenge the assumptions of the “Holocaust model” of pathology in trauma theory.
|Title of host publication
|Routledge International Handbook of Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Descendants of Holocaust Survivors
|Number of pages
|Published - 1 Jan 2023
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)