The term collective trauma calls attention to the "psychological reactions to a traumatic event that affect[s] an entire society." Collective trauma does not only represent a historical fact or event, but is a collective memory of an awful event that happened to that group of people.
American sociologist Kai Erikson was one of the first to document collective trauma in his book Everything in Its Path, which documented the aftermath of a catastrophic flood in 1972.
Gilad Hirschberger of Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel, defines the term:
The term collective trauma refers to the psychological reactions to a traumatic event that affect an entire society; it does not merely reflect an historical fact, the recollection of a terrible event that happened to a group of people. It suggests that the tragedy is represented in the collective memory of the group, and like all forms of memory it comprises not only a reproduction of the events, bu