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    Heroes and hysterics: 'Partisan Hysteria' and Communist state-building in Yugoslavia after 1945

    Antic, Ana (2014) Heroes and hysterics: 'Partisan Hysteria' and Communist state-building in Yugoslavia after 1945. Social History of Medicine 27 (2), pp. 349-371. ISSN 0951-631X.

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    Abstract

    This article investigates a novel type of war neurosis defined by Yugoslav psychiatrists in the aftermath of the Second World War. This uniquely Yugoslav war trauma—‘partisan hysteria’—was diagnosed exclusively in Communist resistance soldiers—partisans—and did not manifest itself in the form of battle exhaustion or anxiety, as was the case in other armies. Rather, it demonstrated a heightened willingness to fight, and consisted of simulations of wartime battles. Yugoslav psychiatrists argued that ‘partisan hysteria’ most frequently affected uneducated and immature partisans, who were given important political responsibilities but experienced severe trauma due to their own inadequacy. I argue that ‘partisan hysteria’ served as an opportunity for upper-middle-class psychiatric professionals to criticise the increasing upward social mobility after the socialist revolution of 1945. Surprisingly, this touched upon an issue that had already provoked deep disquiet within the Communist Party, and resonated with the Party's own concerns regarding social mobility.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): war trauma, psychoanalysis, military psychiatry, Communist revolution
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2015 09:45
    Last Modified: 09 Jan 2015 09:45
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/11408

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