This article traces a critical change in the professional therapy of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): from treatment of a disorder borne by individuals to treatment of an anticipated disorder to be prevented by fortifying the entire population. A community resilience program in the city of Sderot in southern Israel, which has been subjected to Qassam rockets by its Palestinian neighbors across the border, serves as our case study. Drawing on an ethnographic study of this new therapeutic program, we analyze how the social body that the professionals attempt to immunize against trauma was treated. In particular, we follow the various practices used to expand the clinical. We found that the population was split into several groups on a continuum between the clinical and the preclinical, each receiving different treatment. Moreover, the social body managed according to this new form of PTSD was articulated through ethnic and geopolitical power relations between professionals from the country's center and professionals from its periphery, and between the professionals and the city's residents. Finally, we discuss how this Israeli case compares with other national sites of the growing globalization of PTSD, like Bali, Haiti and Ethiopia, which anthropologists have been exploring in recent years.
- Community resilience
- Israeli-Palestinian conflict
- Posttraumatic stress disorder