The victim as a contemporary figure

Thinking about the suffering associated with violence, this text paper aims to raise questions about the social and historical construction of the victim and the extent that this figure takes on contemporary society as moral legitimacy of social demands. The construction of the victim is thought as a way of giving social recognition to suffering, circumscribing it and giving it intelligibility. The field of mental health has an important place in this process, through the delimitation, by the Psychiatry, of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a reference for the treatment of victims of violence, constituting a privileged focus for this reflection. One tries to locate the figure of the victim in the social logic that engenders it, inquiring about the grammar of the conflicts that underlie its construction and thus questioning the uses to which the notion of victim gives rise to legitimate social and political action.

suffering; victim; violence; recognition; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


Universidade Federal da Bahia - Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas - Centro de Recursos Humanos Estrada de São Lázaro, 197 - Federação, 40.210-730 Salvador, Bahia Brasil, Tel.: (55 71) 3283-5857, Fax: (55 71) 3283-5851 - Salvador - BA - Brazil
E-mail: revcrh@ufba.br