Collective memory:


Memory is not a storehouse:

most scholars who studied subject agree memories are not stored in or minds until such moment as we retrieve them.

we make memories in the present.

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Memories as Social: HALBWACHS:

  • memories are both individual and colective.
  • - memories cant be said to be purely individual according to Halbwachs. 
  • our memories are never self-sufficent byt rely on support of others with whom we not only exp the events but also talk to about the events - sharing memories.
  • so 'a person remembers by situation himself within the veiwpoint of one or several groups and one or several cuttents of collective thoughts' Halbwachs.
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Forgetting: HALBWACHS

  • if we leave groups that were once imporant to us we no longer have the continual movement back and forth of memories. 
  • Instead we gradually grow more isolated from certain milieux not quite forgetting byt only very vaguely remembering. can still definie in genreal terms but not as clear as we once could. 
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Less of collective memories: HALBWACHS:

  • if members of a groups disperse, each will remember particular aspects of the groups collective experiences, but no-one will remember it all.
  • none being as accurate or conciding with any other. 
  • none of them when separated can reproduce the total content of the original thought. 
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Social frameworks: Halbwachs

  • we a;; use social reference points when we talk about our pasts = sociallt sanctioned rituals (e.g christmas) social roles (e.g families) institiution (schools) 
  • the history of out times: we relocate out childhoods in history through public events, our parents influence, dominant ideas and ideologies etc. that is the framework.
  • as we get older out memories are continually reconstructed along with the new materials and abilities that we acquire through experiences. 
  • 'new' memories old images tat shift and change. 
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Collective Memory: Halbwachs

  • colelctive memory is not the same as history according to Halbwachs:
  • 1) its not divide into periods
  • 2) its not singular but multipl
  • 3) it operates through resemblences that allow a group to recognise itself. 
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how societies remember:

  • 1.) 'habit memory': bodily and personal ritual performances (e.g clothers, food, gestures, manners etc) 
  • 2.) commemorative ceremonies; public ritual performances (e.g christmas, olympics, fetes etc)
  • 3.) Narrative memory: stories, public representation (e.g heritage, museums, films, documentaries, myths etc) 
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Paul Ricoeur: (1913-2005)

  • french philosopher
  • devoted 3 volumes to the examination of this fundemental importance of time to the question of identity.
  • points out the concept of identity can only be understood through narrative, since its only though telling stories that permanence is established.
  • narrative identity can equally well be applied to communities as to individuals - the self constancy of a community too depends on narratives for the ability to declare itself.
  • the transformation of human action into narrative is an inevitable part of human interpretation of the symbolic and socially-constructed world.
  • human exp has a basic historical dimension that relies on narratives for its expression. 
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Hobsbawn and 'invented traditions'

  • 'set of practices, normally governed by overtly or tacitly accepted rules and of a ritual or symbolic nature, which automatically implies familiarity with the past' 
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why traditions become invented?

  • periods of particular change and rapid upheavel.
  • novely is no less novel for being able to dress up easily as antiquity
  • where the old ways are alive, traditions need be neither revived nor invented

Types of invented traditions: 

  • 1) symbolising social cohesion amongst groups, realt or artifical communities.
  • 2) establishing or legitimising institutions, status or realtions of authority.
  • 3) incucation of beliefs, value systems or behaviours. 
  • different from transmission of traditions in pre-modern societies. 
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'authorised heritage discourse'

  • identified legitimate spokespersons of the past
  • defines what is and what isnt 'our' inheritance
  • promotes ideas of our unchanging past - disconected from present
  • presents safe, non-challenging (especially national) narratives.
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'authorised heritage discourse'

  • identified legitimate spokespersons of the past
  • defines what is and what isnt 'our' inheritance
  • promotes ideas of our unchanging past - disconected from present
  • presents safe, non-challenging (especially national) narratives.
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Backstairs History:

  • apart of regeneration of places, these shifts were registered in new heritage centres and museums through phenomenon of living history.
  • Refers to 'interactive' heritage museums which use reconstructions and simularions to bring history alive - make history more authentic, real and immediate. 
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