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Collective Remembering
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Collective Remembering

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April 1990 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Profoundly challenging the traditional view of memory as the product and property of individual minds, Collective Remembering investigates remembering and forgetting as socially constituted activities. The authors argue that individuals account for and understand their memories through the concepts, stories, and stereotypes that have been acquired within the parameters of their sociocultural heritage. Collective Remembering explores the ways communities, families, other groups, cultures, and organizations are created, sustained, and transformed. Also examined are the ways in which what is to be remembered--or forgotten--can become rhetorically and ideologically interpreted to account for the past, present, and future of social life. The social character of memory is a focus of growing interest across a range of disciplines including psychology, sociology, communication, history, and anthropology. Collective Remembering makes an important contribution to this emerging debate. "I found each of the chapters in Collective Remembering to offer new phenomena to study and new ways of examining problems that are just now being articulated. This text should be read by anyone interested in the study of memory, since it will challenge any preconceived notions about the nature and uses of memory and remembering." --Semiotica "The authors have brilliantly described a wide range of phenomena that fall under the heading of collective remembering, but perhaps even more importantly, they have challenged many of the theoretical constructs and boundaries of contemporary social science. It is a major accomplishment and will be looked upon for years as being well ahead of its time." --James V. Wertsch, Clark University "Taken together these essays are the freshest and most promising approach I have seen to begin to map the features we are likely to find in this terrain." --Davis Thelan, Editor, The Journal of American History "Includes many interesting examples of how memories for past events are socially negotiated and in some cases politically manipulated." --The Psychologist "A good study by Michael Billig on 'ideology and the British Royal family.' . . . A splendid study by Barry Schwartz on the making, or re-making, of Abraham Lincoln's reputation. . . . Michael Schudson also contributes as engaging piece on American presidential reputations. . . . A third equally valuable and stimulating contribution is David Bakhurst's account of 'social memory in Soviet thought.' . . . The study of memory, as a social and political phenomenon, is one of the most exciting areas of current work. The collection of essays under review makes a useful addition to this literature." --The Sociological Review

Michael Cole
Preface
David Middleton and Derek Edwards
Introduction
David Middleton and Derek Edwards
Conversational Remembering
A Social Psychological Approach

 
Alan Radley
Artefacts, Memory and a Sense of the Past
Michael Billig
Collective Memory, Ideology and the British Royal Family
Barry Schwartz
The Reconstruction of Abraham Lincoln
Michael Schudson
Ronald Reagan Misremembered
John Shotter
The Social Construction of Remembering and Forgetting
Yrj[um]o Engestr[um]om, Katherine Brown, Ritva Engestr[um]om and Kirsi Koistinen
Organizational Forgetting
An Activity-Theoretical Perspective

 
Julian E Orr
Sharing Knowledge, Celebrating Identity
Community Memory in a Service Culture

 
Carol A Padden
Folk Explanation in Language Survival
David Bakhurst
Social Memory in Soviet Thought

`The study of memory, as a social and political phenomenon, is one of the most exciting areas of current work... This collection of essays makes a useful addition to the literature' - The Sociological Review

`When carrying out fieldwork, stress is laid on the obtaining and checking of information. This golden rule can be readily appreciated against the background of Bartlett's work. The essays in this book burnish the gold. They deal with the fieldwork as against controlled experiment. They show how memory is social in origin, that memories are socially constituted states, representing a form of social memory, irreducible in a single mind yet essential to the mental life of each individual' - Lore and Language

`Argues (and to considerable effect) that memory does not reside in an individual's head, as all the hard-line experimental psychologists and neurocognitivists would claim, but in the collective talk which underpins all social interaction... It is difficult right now to say how the lively and provocative work reported in this book will interface with all those tedious laboratory studies of memory, but I feel that any such relations can only be for the good' - Systems Practice

`A terrific book... This collection of case studies and theoretical perspectives demonstrates that the most exciting new understandings of memory will come on the undeveloped terrain that lies between the study of unnaturally isolated individual recollection and the study of unnaturally passive cultural myth. Taken together, these essays are the freshest and most promising approach I have seen to begin to map the features we are likely to find in this terrain' - David Thelen, Indiana University

`This is one of the most important new volumes we have in the trend to take memory out of the artificial laboratory and put it into the real contexts of cultural, historical and institutional settings. The authors have brilliantly described a wide range of phenomena that fall under the heading of collective remembering, but perhaps even more importantly they have challenged many of the theoretical constructs and boundaries of contemporary social science. It is a major accomplishment and will be looked upon for years as being well ahead of its time' - James V Wertsch, Clark University

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