Kienzler 2010 Trauma

Title Information

Author: Hanna Kienzler

Title: The Differential Impact of War and Trauma on Kosovar Albanian Women Living in Post-War Kosova

Subtitle: -

Thesis: Ph.D Thesis, McGill University

Year: June 2010

Pages: 420pp.

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Serbian History | Types: Wartime Rape / Kosovo War - Victims: Trauma

Full Text

Link: eScholarship@McGill [Free Access]

Additional Information

Author: Hanna Kienzler, Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine, King's College London

Abstract: »The war in Kosova had a profound impact on the lives of the civilian population and was a major cause of material destruction, disintegration of social fabrics and ill health. Throughout 1998 and 1999, the number of killings is estimated to be 10,000 with the majority of the victims being Kosovar Albanian killed by Serbian forces. An additional 863,000 civilians sought or were forced into refuge outside Kosova and 590,000 were internally displaced. Moreover, rape and torture, looting, pillaging and extortion were committed. The aim of my dissertation is to rewrite aspects of the recent belligerent history of Kosova with a focus on how history is created and transformed through bodily expressions of distress. The ethnographic study was conducted in two Kosovar villages that were hit especially hard during the war. In both villages, my research was based on participant observation which allowed me to immerse myself in Kosovar culture and the daily activities of the people under study. The dissertation is divided into four interrelated parts.The first part is based on published accounts describing how various external power regimes affected local Kosovar culture, and how the latter was continuously transformed by the local population throughout history. The second part focuses on collective memories and explores how villagers construct their community's past in order to give meaning to their everyday lives in a time of political and economic upheaval. The third part looks at how women create, change and, thereby, influence collective memories through bodily expressions of distress. Finally, the fourth part makes apparent how through clinical practice and traditional healing, history, collective memories and traumatic memories are negotiated and invested with new meanings and attributions. The dissertation concludes with a focus on the interrelation of collective and traumatic memories which generate and justify women‟s health problems. In this context, it is argued that patient-practitioner interaction should be perceived as an opportunity to build ethical relationships which go beyond the relatively narrow medical mandate by providing women with “tools” to create social spaces in which they can live and commemorate in a healthy way.« [Source: eScholarship@McGill]


  Introduction (p. 1)
    The Historical and Political Context (p. 4)
      A Brief Historical Overview of Kosova's Recent Belligerent History and Claim to Independence (p. 6)
    Conceptual Frameworks for Studying the Impact of War and Trauma (p.9)
      Collective Memory in the Context of War (p. 10)
      Traumatic Memories and Related Health Problems (p. 12)
    Research Methodology (p. 15)
      The Field (p. 15)
      The Methodology (p. 18)
    Organization of the Thesis (p. 22)
  Part I: Kosova's Masters and Their Influence on the Local Population throughout History (p. 26)
  Chapter 1: Kovosa's Post-Conflict Administration and Its Effects on the Lives of the Citizens (p. 27)
    1.1 Sovereignty versus Imperialism (p. 31)
  Chapter 2: Kosova's Masters and Their Influence on Local Culture, Resources and Ways of Organization (p. 33)
    2.1 Patterns of Political and Social Organization Prior to the Arrival of the Ottomans (p. 33)
    2.2 The Influence of the Ottoman Empire on Kosova's Political and Social Organization (p. 37)
    2.3 Between Assimilation and Expulsion: Albanian Politics From 1912-1945 (p. 40)
    2.4 Yugoslav Politics and Kosovar Social Organization under Tito (p. 44)
    2.5 Prelude to the War (p. 46)
    2.6 The Conflict in Kosova (p. 50)
    2.7 Exploring Historical and Social Change (p. 54)
  Part II: The Past in the Present: Collective Memories, Histories and Identities in the Context of Conflict (p. 56)
  Chapter 3: The Establishment and Development of Collective Memory Studies (p. 58)
    3.1 The Origins of Collective Memory Studies (p. 61)
    3.2 New Questions and New Approaches (p. 65)
  Chapter 4: Memory and Identity Practices in the Context of War (p. 69)
    4.1 Sites of Memory, Commemorative Performance and Mourning (p. 71)
    4.2 The Power of Narrative and Truth-Making Practices (p. 74)
    4.3. The Dynamics of Counter-Memory and Disqualified Knowledge (p. 77)
    4.4 The Selective and Constructive Nature of (Collective) Memory (p. 80)
  Chapter 5: The Power of Collective Memory in Krusha e Madhe and Pastasel (p. 84)
    5.1 Krusha e Madhe: Remembering Past Hardships and Dealing with Present Challenges (p. 85)
      Living With Memories of the War (p. 87)
        From Peaceful Resistance to Rising Support for the Kosovo Liberation Army (p. 88)
        First Attacks and the Beginning of the War (p. 90)
        Valbona's Memories of War and Terror (p. 91)
        Massacre and Expulsion (p. 96)
        Facing the Destruction upon Returning from Exile (p. 99)
        The Anniversary of the Massacre (p. 102)
      Restoring Social and Political Organization after the War (p. 108)
        The Village Council and Civil Society Organizations (p. 113)
        The Council of Elders (p. 116)
        The Bittersweet Celebration of Independence Day (p. 119)
    5.2 Pastasel: The Power of Myths and Testimonies for the Present Social and Political Organization (p. 122)
      The Man Who Doesn't Know Himself Doesn't Know Anyone (p. 124)
      Memories of War (p. 128)
        Pranvera's Painful Memories of the War (p. 129)
        The Military Invasions of Pastasel (p. 132)
        The Memories of Two Survivors of the Massacre (p. 135)
        Burial and Exhumation (p. 138)
        Flight and Refuge (p. 140)
        Torture and Imprisonment (p. 141)
      Rebuilding Village Life (p. 143)
        Humanitarian Aid Organizations (p. 144)
        The Village Organization (p. 145)
        An Example of Community Engagement: The Anniversary of the Massacre (p. 150)
  Part III: Views and Conceptualizations of and Discussions on Traumatic Memory and Modes of Expressing Distress (p. 155)
  Chapter 6: The Cultural Construction and Conceptualization of War-Trauma and PTSD (p. 157)
  Chapter 7: Debating War-Trauma and PTSD from Psychiatric Perspectives (p. 160)
    7.1. Universalistic Approaches to Traumatic Distress (p. 160)
      The Etiological Event as the Defining Feature (p. 160)
      The Criteria for Symptoms (p. 163)
    7.2 PTSD: A Euro-American Invention (p. 167)
      The Critique by the Relativists (p. 169)
    7.3 Building Bridges between Different Psychiatric Approaches (p. 171)
      From Culture-Bound Syndromes to Local Idioms of Distress (p. 171)
      New Questions for and New Approaches to a Better Understanding of War-Trauma and Related Health Problems (p. 174)
  Chapter 8: Anthropological Contributions to Discourses on War-Trauma and PTSD (p. 175)
    8.1 Linkages between Violence and Personal and Social Well-Being (p. 176)
    8.2 Social Suffering and Local Idioms of Distress (p. 179)
  Chapter 9: Narratives of Symptoms and Illness Experiences of Women in Krusha e Madhe and Pastasel (p. 184)
    9.1 Triggers of War-Related and Traumatic Memories (p. 185)
      Painful Landmarks: Sites of Traumatic Memories, Mourning and Honour (p. 186)
      Pictures as Reminders of the Missing and the Dead (p. 189)
    9.2 Temporal Narratives of Symptoms (p. 193)
    9.3 Multiple Etiologies: Traumatic Events, Economic Problems and Interpersonal Conflicts (p. 206)
      "When You Have such a Lot of Pressure, how Are You Supposed to Feel Good?" (p. 207)
      "We Are All Destroyed Since the War" (p. 210)
      "Serbs Not Only Killed Our Husbands, They Also Killed the Friendship between Us Women" (p. 216)
    9.4 Modes and Concepts of Distress: Nervoz, Mërzitna, Msysh and T'bone (p. 219)
        Nervoz and Mërzitna (p. 220)
        Msysh and T'bone (p. 225)
  Part IV: Health-Seeking and Healing in the Aftermath of War (p. 238)
  Chapter 10: The Cultural Contexts of Health-Seeking, Healing and Medical Efficacy (p. 238)
  Chapter 11: Psychiatric Responses to War-Trauma and Trauma-Related Health Problems (p. 245)
    11.1 The Politics of Humanitarian and Psychiatric Interventions (p. 246)
      Cross-Border Humanitarian Interventions During and After the Cold War (p. 246)
      The Development of Psychiatric Intervention Programs and the Controversies that Surround it (p. 248)
      Assessing Health Outcomes and Standardizing Mental Health Intervention (p. 252)
  Chapter 12: Anthropological Responses to Psychiatric Intervention Strategies in War-Torn Societies (p. 255)
    12.1 The Politics of Humanitarian Aid (p. 255)
    12.2 Trauma Focused Psychiatric Interventions versus Indigenous Healing Traditions (p. 258)
    12.3 Critical Standpoints on Anthropological Authority (p. 261)
  Chapter 13: Health-Seeking and Healing Practices in Kosova (p. 264)
    13.1 The Biomedical Beliefs and Practices of General Practitioners, Psychiatrists and Psychologists (p. 269)
      About Being a Health Practitioner Before, During and After the War (p. 269)
        The Opportunities for and Limits of Education in Former Yugoslavia (p. 270)
        Saving Lives amid the Chaos of War: The Story of a Heroic Doctor (p. 272)
        Providing Humanitarian Aid in Refugee Camps (p. 275)
        Mental Health Care in the Aftermath of the War (p. 277)
      Bearing Witness to the Long-Term Consequences of War on Health (p. 281)
        Negotiating Stigma through Practices of Health-Seeking and Referral (p. 281)
      The Somatizing Village Woman (p. 283)
      Reading War-Trauma in Silence, Economic Problems and Family Conflicts (p. 285)
      Diagnosis and Treatment (p. 291)
    13.2 Healing the Afflicted (p. 299)
      Call for Healing (p. 305)
      Coming to Terms with Ambiguous Expressions of Symptoms (p. 309)
      A Refined Approach to Diagnosis (p. 316)
        Assessing Nervoz and Family Problems (p. 317)
        Assessing Causes of and Motivations for Black Magic (p. 319)
      Healing Afflictions (p. 324)
        Folk Remedies and Relaxation Techniques (p. 324)
        Warding off Msysh (p. 327)
        Breaking T'bBone (p. 328)
    13.3 Places of Healing (p. 3339
      Teqe, Tyrbe and Split Rocks: Places of Worship, Healing, Justice and Political Gatherings (p. 334)
        The Teqe: The House of Gatherings (p. 334)
        The Big Night (p. 337)
        The Tyrbe: Shrines and Sacred Tombs (p. 340)
        Places of Pilgrimage and Healing (p. 348)
  Conclusion: Creating and Transforming History through Collective Memory and Bodily Expressions of Distress (p. 354)
    Traumatic Memory (p. 355)
    Collective Memory (p. 362)
  Epilogue (p. 371)
  Appendix A: Map of Kosova (p. 382)
  Appendix B: Map of Rahovec (p. 384)
  Appendix C: Names of the Victims of the Massacre in Pastasel (p. 385)
  Appendix D: Eyewitness Reports of the Atrocities Committed in the Municipality of Rahovec (p. 386)
  Appendix E: Photographs Documenting the Atrocities Committed in the Municipality of Rahovec (p. 387)
  Bibliography (p. 388)

Wikipedia: Kosovo War

Added: November 16, 2013 | Last updated: November 16, 2013