The Cultural Sociology of Political Assassination: From MLK and RFK to Fortuyn and van Gogh

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9780230118225: The Cultural Sociology of Political Assassination: From MLK and RFK to Fortuyn and van Gogh
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Political assassinations are always shocking and traumatic; sometimes however they lead to a cultural trauma, that is, a broad public debate about the foundations of collective identity. The theory of cultural trauma is applied in this book to six political assassinations, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy in the United States, Olof Palme and Anna Lindh in Sweden and Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands. Only in the Swedish case did a cultural trauma not emerge, this book explains why it did not and why it did in the case of the United States and the Netherlands.

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About the Author:

Ron Eyerman is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University. He is the author of The Assassination of Theo van Gogh (2008) and Cultural Trauma Slavery and the Formation of African American Identity (2001).

Review:

“It is a pleasure to welcome Ron Eyerman's brilliant contribution to our understanding of the dark dynamics of political assassination, cultural trauma, and collective memory. His work is at once psychologically sensitive and socially perceptive, theoretically sound and empirically informed, subtle and lucid in interpretation, case-based and responsive to comparative cultural context--an exemplary social-science enterprise.” -- Neil J. Smelser, University Professor of Sociology Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

“Political assassinations can be deep cultural traumas, and as Ron Eyerman shows, analyzing them can yield important insights into national cultures. This book helpfully broadens thinking about political culture and also shows why certain political events matter beyond the limits of politics narrowly understood.” --Craig Calhoun, President, Social Science Research Council; University Professor of the Social Sciences, New York University

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9780230118232: The Cultural Sociology of Political Assassination: From MLK and RFK to Fortuyn and van Gogh

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