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Scarred Communities

Scarred Communities
Psychosocial Impact of Man-made and Natural Disasters on Sri Lankan Society

First Edition
  • Daya Somasundaram - Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna and a Consultant Psychiatrist

February 2014 | 508 pages | SAGE India
Scarred Communities is a qualitative, psycho-ecological study of the long-term effects of disasters—both man-made and natural—on Sri Lankan communities. The book studies the effects of war and the 2004 tsunami on families and communities. The concept of collective trauma is introduced to provide a framework in understanding how basic social processes, relationships and networks change due to these disasters.

The methodology employed is a naturalistic, psychosocial ethnography of northern Sri Lanka, drawing from the author’s participation in psychosocial and community mental health programmes among the Tamil community. Participatory observation, key informant interviews and focus-group discussions with rehabilitation workers and officials were used to gather data.
The author also analyses the various causes of modern civil war, ethnic consciousness, terror and counter-insurgency operations and their consequences on people. Though the study revolves around Sri Lanka, the phenomenon of collective trauma has an international relevance for communities across the globe caught in civil and ethnic strife.

This book is a sequel to Scarred Minds (SAGE, 1998), which deals with the effects of chronic civil war on individuals.

The Psychiatrist as a Political Critic: A Foreword Ashis Nandy
Ethnic Consciousness
Heart of Terror
Disappearance: The Hidden Reality With Sambasivamoorthy Sivayokan
War Trauma in the Military, Their Families and Communities Ruwan M. Jayatunge
Collective Trauma in the Tamil Community in London Andrew Keefe
Psychosocial Interventions With Contributions from Thedsanamoorthy Vijayasangar, Kuhan Satkunanayagam, Vijayasangar Sivajini, Sambasivamoorthy Sivayokan and Rachel Tribe
Trauma and Beyond: The Evolving Field of Mental Health and Psychosocial Work in Sri Lanka Aanada Galappatti
Psychosocial Interventions in Sri Lanka: Challenges in a Post-war Environment Gameela Samarasinghe

A rare volume that details the psychosocial impact of manmade and natural disasters of Sri Lankan society...this volume will help the readers to show a definite path to move ahead leaving the tragedy and hoping the prosperous life of the civil society in Sri Lanka.

Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

It is difficult to write about ordinary people affected over the course of Sri Lanka’s Civil war...Daya Somasundram’s Scarred Communities provides the best recent counterpoints about the Sri Lanka’s civil war. Part anthology, part theoretical discussion, part case study in psychological work, the book is homogeneous than most academic texts. It provides patient and sophisticated account of trauma in Tamil population of north-east Sri Lanka...the book is divided into five chapters beginning with a short and sophisticated history of civil war that is alone worth the price of the skilfully mediates, within the confines of an academic text, between cultural history, narrative anthropology and mental field work.

Economic & Political Weekly, Vol 8

[The book] is a qualitative, psycho-ecological study of the long-term effects of Disasters- both man-made and natural- on Sri Lankan communities…. Given the methodological rigor and rich source of information, the book is a must-read for all those who are interested in psychosocial aspects of conflicts and natural disasters.

The book Review, October 2016

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ISBN: 9789353881054
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