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Collective Remembering : Inquiries in Social Construction - David Middleton

Collective Remembering

Inquiries in Social Construction

By: David Middleton (Editor), Derek Edwards (Editor)

Paperback Published: 1st February 1990
ISBN: 9780803982352
Number Of Pages: 240

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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 starting point for all the authors is a conceptualization of remembering and forgetting as forms of social action. Individual memories cannot be understood as "internal mental processes" occurring independently of the interpretative and communicative practices that characterize a particular society or culture. Individuals "read", account for and negotiate their memories within the pragmatics of social life. The book also explores the collective processes through which communities' social memories are created, sustained and transformed - in families, other groups and cultures, and organizations. They examine the ways in which what is to be remembered - or forgotten - can become rhetorically and ideologically contested domains for the "possession" of the past, present and future. The social character of memory is a focus of growing interest across a range of disciplines, including psychology, history and historical geography, linguistics and communication studies, sociology and social theory.

`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

Conversational Remembering
A Social Psychological Approach
Artefacts, Memory and a Sense of the Past
Collective Memory, Ideology and the British Royal Family
The Reconstruction of Abraham Lincoln
Ronald Reagan Misremembered
The Social Construction of Remembering and Forgetting
Organizational Forgetting
An Activity-Theoretical Perspective
Sharing Knowledge, Celebrating Identity
Community Memory in a Service Culture
Folk Explanation in Language Survival
Social Memory in Soviet Thought
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780803982352
ISBN-10: 0803982356
Series: Inquiries in Social Construction
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st February 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.63 x 15.09  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.33