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Collective memory is a term coined by Maurice Halbwachs, separating the notion from the individual memory. The collective memory is shared, passed on and also constructed by the group, or modern society. The debate was taken up by Jan Assmann, who wrote Das kulturelle Gedächtnis (The Cultural Memory). More recently scholars such as Paul Connerton have extended the concept to include the human body as a site for the collective processes of retention and propagation of memory. Pierre Nora's contributions to the role of place and spaces of shared memory (the "lieux de memoire" that we all inhabit) are also significant.
Collective Memory and Memorialization Edit
The collective memory of a nation is represented in part by the memorials it chooses to erect. Public memory is enshrined in memorials from the newly opened Holocaust memorial in Berlin to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Whatever a nation chooses to memorialize in physical monument, or perhaps more significantly, what not to memorialize, is an indicator of the collective memory.
References & BibliographyEdit
- Middleton,D. and Edwards,D. (1990)(eds). Collective Remembering, London: Sage.
- Billig, M. (1990) Collective memory, ideology and the British Royal family. In: D. Middleton and D. Edwards (eds) Collective Remembering, London: Sage.
External Links Edit
- For a Sociology of Collective Memory short discussion with bibliography of French works by Marie-Claire Lavabre, Research Director at CNRS - Centre Marc Bloch (CEVIPOF)
- Interdisciplinary Study of Memory Site by John Sutton, Philosophy Department, Macquarie University, Sydney. Links to many bibliographies
- History in the Public Sphere course by Harold Marcuse, History Department, University of California, Santa Barbara. With bibliography and links to readings.de:Kollektives Gedächtnis