Dis­rup­ti­on and Resi­li­ence

Sub­jec­ti­ve expe­ri­ence of the ram­pa­ge in Graz from the per­spec­ti­ve of psy­cho­so­cial emer­gen­cy care.

Amok acts are cha­rac­te­ri­zed by a per­so­nal — by the per­pe­tra­tor — and socie­tal loss of con­trol. Con­trol­led by anger, hat­red or fee­lings of reven­ge, mul­ti­ple kil­lings of spe­ci­fic or ran­dom­ly sel­ec­ted peo­p­le are inten­ded. When peo­p­le feel unpro­tec­ted and at the mer­cy of events with a trau­ma­to­ge­nic qua­li­ty, they usual­ly need emer­gen­cy psy­cho­so­cial care to return to their idea of nor­mal life. This is espe­ci­al­ly true for dis­as­ters and com­plex dama­ge events, regard­less of whe­ther they are “man-made” or “natu­re-made” events. The Graz ram­pa­ge pre­sen­ted the psy­cho­so­cial respon­se team with major chal­lenges, and not just logi­sti­cal ones, as they were on duty for a who­le week and pro­vi­ded care for thou­sands of peo­p­le. How this ope­ra­ti­on was sub­jec­tively expe­ri­en­ced and mas­te­red, what chal­lenges aro­se and what coping stra­te­gies were used in the short, medi­um and long term is ana­ly­sed in this paper on the basis of qua­li­ta­ti­ve data. 

“I would say that here not only indi­vi­du­al life has been threa­ten­ed and vio­la­ted, but also com­mon life. The who­le thing, and espe­ci­al­ly in this public space, it has gone out into the veins, so to speak, into the dis­tricts.… Other­wi­se, we were [main­ly] in ope­ra­ti­ons that did not go bey­ond this micro­c­osm of social life at all. But here, as it were, life tog­e­ther is threa­ten­ed by an incon­ceiva­ble act”

(Mr. O., Psy­cho­so­cial emer­gen­cy care team mem­ber).

Publi­ca­ti­on: Rena­te Ren­ner (2023) Dis­rup­ti­on und Resi­li­enz. Sub­jek­ti­ves Erle­ben der Amok­fahrt in Graz aus Sicht der psy­cho­so­zia­len Not­fall­ver­sor­gung. In: Kul­tur, Psy­che und Desas­ter. Bei­trä­ge aus Euro­päi­scher Eth­no­lo­gie, Psy­cho­the­ra­pie­wis­sen­schaft, Kata­stro­phen­for­schung und Fri­si­s­tik. Fest­schrift für Univ.-Prof. DDr. Bernd Rie­ken. Wax­mann.

Cont­act: Rena­te Ren­ner