Institutional Injustice: An Under-explored Form of Trauma

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Land, Jenna
Hamby, Sherry
Issue Date
Scholarship Sewanee 2020 , Institutional injustice , Poly-victimization , Traumatic events , Systemic injustices , Personal injustices
Objective: This study aims to explore institutional, systemic, and interpersonal injustices found in semi-structured interviews conducted in rural Appalachia. Method: Interviews from a previous study were reviewed for institutional and interpersonal injustices in the lives of community members living in rural Appalachia. Interviewees that were 21 and older were eligible. This project included a review of 90 interviews. A grounded theory approach was used to identify themes. Results: Reports of traumatic events were grouped broadly into interpersonal and institutional traumas. The interpersonal group consisted of incidents of abuse and family issues. Institutional injustices were grouped into 3 categories. Systemic included injustices related to a system, for example foster care or health care. Professional injustices included malfeasance of health care providers, employers, or other professionals. Corporate were related to bad behaviors of businesses. Discussion: The qualitative data suggest that these areas of injustice are common and neglected forms of trauma. The results collected in this study would be important to consider for future research.