The Representation of Trianon Trauma as a Chosen Trauma in Political Newspapers (1920–2010) in Hungary

Barbara Ilg


The Treaty of Trianon and its consequences continue to be considered traumatic by both scholars and much of society in general. Trianon’s identification as a social or historical trauma not only spread amongst the public in general, but also penetrated historical discourse and journalism. A rather complex and controversial concept has been transposed from psychology to historiography. Hungarian historians generally use trauma in the classical social-psychological meaning: trauma is a social construct based on actual experience (Kovács 2015). In social psychology, the concept of trauma is based on the threat from the outside world to the individual and their identity. However, social trauma has much in common with individual trauma (László 2005). Inevitably, the question arises as to why the concept of psychic trauma seems to be an appropriate scientific description of the effects of Trianon. In my research, I undertook longitudinal content analysis of articles about Trianon and its consequences published in newspapers of various political orientation, divided into five-year periods between 1920 and 2010. The study uses the theoretical construction of social psychology, which involves examining the chosen trauma as a narrative structure. In this study, I present how the concept of the chosen trauma can be applied to describe Trianon trauma through the corpus that includes texts from these ninety years. To illustrate this, I use narrative psychological content analysis.

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X