Covid-19 as cultural trauma

Am J Cult Sociol. 2020;8(3):428-450. doi: 10.1057/s41290-020-00112-z. Epub 2020 Sep 10.


This paper has two aims. The first is to introduce the concept of compressed cultural trauma, and the second is to apply the theory of cultural trauma in two case studies of the current covid-19 pandemic, Greece and Sweden. Our central question is whether the pandemic will evolve into a cultural trauma in these two countries. We believe the pandemic presents a challenge to cultural trauma theory, which the idea of compressed trauma is meant to address. We conclude that, while the ongoing covid-19 pandemic has had traumatic consequences in Sweden and Greece, it has not evolved into cultural trauma in either country.

Keywords: Compressed cultural trauma; Covid-19; Greece; Sweden.