Insidious Trauma: A Literature Review

Janani KS, Manali Karmakar


Despite the promising development of trauma studies as an interdisciplinary phenomenon, the notion of insidious trauma is often relegated to its margins. As a theory with its roots in feminist psychotherapeutic practices of scholars such as Maria Root and Laura Brown, the paradigm of insidious trauma provides scope to discuss mundane and everyday experientialities of trauma that result from socially marginalized positions. The central aim of this paper is to aver that there is a need to expand the category of insidious trauma to explore the quotidian traumas of marginalized groups. For this, the paper presents analogous feminist and masculinist understandings of trauma experienced due to individuals’ complex entanglement with the patriarchal discourse. In exploring the notion of insidious trauma through a feminist lens, the paper connects it to the theories of coercive control, patriarchal terrorism, and betrayal trauma. The paper also discusses paradigms of male trauma that concur with the theory of insidious trauma. In this course, the paper presents the historical failure of the diagnosis of male hysteria. It discusses how narrow understandings of masculinity in a patriarchal culture have generated emotionally stunted development in men and foreclosed their avenues to seek help for domestic violence. The paper then posits that expanding Michael Rothberg’s category of the implicated subject provides a way to throw light on how the entire patriarchal social structure is complicit in generating male and female victims of its ideology.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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