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Communal beingness and affect: An exploration of trauma in an ex-industrial community

Walkerdine, Valerie 2010. Communal beingness and affect: An exploration of trauma in an ex-industrial community. Body & Society 16 (1) , pp. 91-116. 10.1177/1357034X09354127

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The article explores the place of affect in community relations with respect to trauma following the closure of a steelworks for a working-class community in the South Wales valleys in 2002. A review of sociological approaches to community demonstrates the poor handling of relational and affective aspects which, it is argued, are central to the way in which community relations were formed and provided a safe and containing skin against the uncertainty of industrial production. Using psychoanalytic approaches to affect which stress the importance of skin, particularly the work of Bick, Tustin, Winnicott and Anzieu, the article explores how a sense of a containing skin provides a feeling of ontological security for a community beset by uncertainty and insecurity. It is argued that, following the closure of the steelworks in 2002, this skin is ruptured and that it is difficult for the members of the community to find a way forward. Using examples taken from psychosocial interviews with community members, the case is made for a range of affective relations and practices through which the skin is created. The absence of these practices and relations creates a profound sense of lack of safety and fear of death within the inhabitants, which needs to be addressed, but is rarely discussed in approaches to community or regeneration.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: affect; Anzieu; class; community; skin; trauma
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1357-034X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:52

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