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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the theory of cultural trauma from a cultural sociological perspective by using the case of the Nanking Massacre and its implications for Chinese identity. It begins with an overview of the Nanking Massacre and its initial constructions, focusing on the shift from Western concern to Western silence about the mass murder from a cultural standpoint. It then considers why the Nanking Massacre disappeared from the consciousness of the Chinese, arguing that the event was not narrated as a collective trauma, and the opportunities to extend psychological identification and moral universalism were not taken up, due to the paradoxes of solidarity, boundary-making, and collective identity. It also discusses social revolution and communism as Chinese responses to trauma and concludes with a commentary on the proliferation of articles and reports concerning the Nanking Massacre.

Keywords: cultural trauma, cultural sociology, Nanking Massacre, Chinese identity, collective trauma, solidarity, boundary-making, collective identity, social revolution, communism

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