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Social Representations and Memory: The Psychosocial impact of the Spanish "Law of Memory", related to the Spanish Civil War Representaciones sociales y memoria: el impacto psicosocial de la la "Ley de la Memoria" española sobre la Guerra Civil Española

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Abstract

Based on the interrelationship between Social Representations Theory (SRT) and Collective Memory Studies, this work analyzes the effects of the salience of the Spanish Law of Historical Memory on beliefs about the Spanish Civil War (SCW), functions and expectancies of remembering, and reparatory behaviours, guilt and shame - collective and personal - as well as their anchoring in ideological positioning. Results confirm the positive psychosocial role of making salient the Law of Memory: it reinforces the agreement with the preventive functions of collective memory, truth commissions, and positive emotional climate, collective guilt, shame and reparatory behaviours - mainly among those on the left. Also, collective guilt and shame play a mediating role between the salience of the Law and reparatory actions. Finally, knowledge about the SCW is not influenced by salience of the law, suggesting that some central aspects of social representations of a negative past are widely shared and consensual.
Social Representations and Memory: The
Psychosocial impact of the Spanish “Law of
Memory”, related to the Spanish Civil War
JOSÉ-FRANCISCO VALENCIA, JOANA MOMOITIO
AND NAHIA IDOYAGA
University of the Basque Country, Spain
Abstract
Based on the interrelationship between Social Representations Theory (SRT) and Collective Memory Studies, this
work analyzes the effects of the salience of the Spanish Law of Historical Memory on beliefs about the Spanish Civil
War (SCW), functions and expectancies of remembering, and reparatory behaviours, guilt and shame – collective and
personal – as well as their anchoring in ideological positioning. Results confirm the positive psychosocial role of making
salient the Law of Memory: it reinforces the agreement with the preventive functions of collective memory, truth
commissions, and positive emotional climate, collective guilt, shame and reparatory behaviours – mainly among those on
the left. Also, collective guilt and shame play a mediating role between the salience of the Law and reparatory actions.
Finally, knowledge about the SCW is not influenced by salience of the law, suggesting that some central aspects of social
representations of a negative past are widely shared and consensual.
Keywords: Collective guilt, social representations, reparatory behaviours, ideology.
Representaciones sociales y memoria: el
impacto psicosocial de la la “Ley de la
Memoria” española sobre la Guerra Civil
Española
Resumen
Basado en la interrelación entre la Teoría de las Representaciones Sociales y los Estudios de Memoria Colectiva, este
trabajo analiza los efectos de la saliencia de la Ley de Memoria Histórica Española en las creencias sobre la Guerra
Civil Española, las funciones y expectativas del recuerdo y los comportamientos reparatorios, culpa y vergüenza –colectiva
y personal–, así como su anclaje en posicionamientos ideológicos. Los resultados confirman el rol psicosocial positivo de la
saliencia de la Ley de Memoria: refuerza el acuerdo con las funciones preventivas de la memoria colectiva, comisiones de
verdad, clima emocional positive, culpa colectiva, vergüenza y comportamientos reparatorios –especialmente entre los de
izquierda–. Igualmente, la culpa colectiva y vergüenza juegan un rol mediador entre la saliencia de la ley y los compor-
tamientos reparatorias. Finalmente, el conocimiento sobre la GCE no se encuentra influido por la saliencia de la ley,
sugiriendo que los aspectos centrales de la representación social de un pasado negativo son ampliamente compartidos y con-
sensuales.
Palabras clave: Culpa colectiva, representaciones sociales, comportamientos reparatorios, ideología.
Author’s Address: José Francisco Valencia. Department of Social Psychology. The University of the Basque Country.
Tolosa Avenue, 70. 20018 San Sebastián. Spain. E-mail: pspvagaj@ss.ehu.es
© 2010 by Fundación Infancia y Aprendizaje, ISSN: 0213-4748 Revista de Psicología Social, 2010, 25 (1), 73-86
06. VALENCIA 9/12/09 11:35 Página 73
This work focuses on the relationship between social representations (SR) and
collective memory (CM). Memory has long been considered a psychological function of
the individual. In the past 25 years, however, notions of collective, public, or cultural
memory have emerged as a useful means of understanding the complex ways in which
personal memories are immersed in larger social patterns that inform the ways in which
we engage different genealogies of belonging. This study examines the contested role
of memory in constructing historical meaning and imagining the cultural boundaries
of communities and groups – for the role of rituals and collective emotions of guilt, see
other papers in this monograph. Interest in the relationship between time and memory,
however, has a long history – from classical Greece to the social thinkers of the 18th
and 19th centuries. Some of the latter posited a negative view of the role of memory –
such as Marx (“a nightmare that it is necessary to forget”, 1962, p. 15) or Nietzsche
(“we need to forget if we do not want the memory to become the gravedigger of the
present”, 2005, p. 13). More common, however, has been the positive view of the role
of memory, such as the contributions of the Chicago School (Cooley and Mead)
regarding the social context of remembering, the works of Bartlett on the importance
of social dynamics – the process of conventionalisation – on individual remembering;
or the works of Vygotsky about remembering as a narrative and his emphasis on the
use of “social tools of thinking” and on social processes. Nevertheless it would not be
until the decade of the 80s that the rediscovery of Halbwachs’ works would spark the
creation of studies of social and collective memory. The constructivist dimension of
current studies of CM (Zelizer, 1995) shares some premises with the Theory of Social
Representations (Haas and Jodelet, 2000; Valencia and Elejabarrieta, 2007).
The Study of Social Representations
The historical process of the constitution of studies of CM is similar to the vicissitudes
that have taken place in the field of social psychology with the challenge proposed by
the SRT. The challenge of this theory has been to claim that psychosocial phenomena
and processes can only be understood properly if they are inserted into historical, cultural
and macro-social conditions (Moscovici, 1973) – that is to say, through a dynamic focus
(Lewin, 1931). At a meta-theoretical level, the individualist model in vogue in social
psychology proposes a static approach and a split between the individual and society,
whose origins we might attribute to the Cartesian split between mind and body
(Giddens, 1967; Markova, 1982). Moscovici’s response (1984) to the static
epistemologies, either individual – the dualism between the knower and the object of
knowing – or collective – Durkheimian collectivism – is that social knowledge is co-
constructed by the knower (I) and the Other (the other person: group, society, culture).
Based on this idea Moscovici proposes his triadic model of relation Ego-Alter-Object (or
symbol, representation) as the essence of his theory of social knowledge.
Premises of current studies of Collective Memory
Recent studies of CM have followed routes similar to the critiques that SRT has
brought to bear upon the mainstream vision in social psychology. Nowadays it is assumed
that the study of CM 1) is dynamic – processual (rather than static and directed by the
“datum”), 2) is irrational and complex, rather than rational and linear, 3) takes into
account the dynamics of groups in conflict, and 4) is functional for groups and communities.
I) Dynamic. Unlike the work of the psychological model in individual memory
–either Freud’s clinical model or Ebbinghaus’s experimental model – which is seen as an
act constituted in a point of time and space, the collective model of memory is an action
in process by means of which people constantly transform the memories they produce.
In this sense, remembering links two distinct activities (Wagner-Pacifi and Schwartz
1991): recollection and commemoration. A) Recollection is the act of establishing a
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relationship with some event, issue or entity of the past. B) Commemoration reproduces
the past for present-day aims, bringing the original narrative of the community to the
consciousness. Thus, through commemoration, society renews the sense which it has of
both itself and its unity (Durkheim, 1912/1982), and it serves the need of a community
to resist change in its self-conceptions (Hutton, 1993). Apologies can be understood as
a part of those commemoration rituals which reinforce the importance of a conflictive
past and give room to deal with it (see this monograph). It is argued that institutional
initiatives of remembering and reparation, like the “Law of Memory” can be conceived
as rituals helping to construct and modify a social representation of the past, fulfilling
psychosocial functions. Furthermore, unlike the psychological memory model, where
remembering seems to equate “more” memory with “better” memory, the CM model
values the negative act of forgetting: 1) Forgetting is the substitution of one memory for
another (Davis and Starn, 1989). It is not an activity of “deficit” but a valued activity
that is as strategic and practical as remembering (e.g., the role of “conflict between
memories” and of “memory of repression” found by Jodelet, 1998). 2) Forgetting is at
the same time a “given of domination” and the collective response to it (Boyarin, 1992):
forgetting of WWII in some parts of Europe was desired and strategic for some
identities (e.g., the case of the role of the División Azul in Spain). 3) Sometimes attempts
at forgetting happen without synchrony with the consensus of the majority, thus
implying conflict more than consensus (i.e., when Pío Moa re-describes the cause of
Franco’s military putsch as just).
II) Irrational and complex. For example the Post-Vichy remembering in France has
been directed more towards restoring national dignity than remembering the French
experience in WWII, or the Spanish Transition remembering of Franco’s dictatorship
was directed more towards confirming Spanish democracy than remembering what
really happened. Thus, collective remembering allows the group to use time in a
successful manner and similarly allows time to act in function of the group’s benefits.
Moreover, studies of collective remembering have found several mechanisms through
which the temporality of memory is organized in order to fit the needs of groups and
communities. One is retrospective nominalization, which consists in the renaming of
early events, issues or places in accordance with other events or issues that have occurred
in later years. For example, the Holocaust has been known as such from the 70s, or the
Great War turns into World War I after the Second World War. This supposes that at
the same time as the past assures and solidifies the new, the new helps to assign and
reassign meaning to the past (Zelizer, 1995). Another mechanism is the collapse of
commemoration or commemorative dates that are used to remember more than one
event at the same time (for example on the 9th of the month of Av, Jews celebrate
hundreds of years simultaneously: the destruction of the first temple, of the second one,
the fall of the Jewish kingdom of Palestine and the Bar Kochba revolt); or the
celebrations of the Unknown Soldier, or other cyclical commemorations such as the
Christian Holy Week.
III) Inserted into group dynamics and conflicts. More than a tabula rasa, memories
are articulated like a mosaic: The CM is considered as a set of partial memories
articulated in a mosaic. 1) The partiality of memory is related to group belongings
(e.g., the case of the 5th Centenary of the discovery of America with different meanings
for different groups (Valencia, 1999) or the 18 de Julio (18th July) in Spain (Day of extra
wages for workers and day of the National “Alzamiento” (Uprising) for pro-Franco
followers). 2) Often the partiality of one recollection is complemented by that of other
memories and meanings. For example, the memorial of the Vietnam Veterans reflected
two different discourses: to commemorate the dead, on the one hand, and patriotism
on the other. 3) Sometimes past and present memories coexist. Memories acquire
higher relevance when they are articulated beyond the different groups that constructed
them (Miller, 1990).
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The problem of the marginalization of memory and its recuperation is relevant here.
The so-called “national memories” were actually invented to construct one specific
version of nationhood – the fruit of aristocracy, monarchy, Church, intelligentsia and
high classes. For example, Smith (1986) has highlighted the importance of
foundational myths in the creation and maintenance of national identities. In this
respect the French Revolution has shown that new traditions and rituals helped to
create new political realities, as in case of the storming of the Bastille (Schama, 1989),
which was “created” by political activists; or the case of G. Washington, whose
“democratization” has emphasized that in the formation of the present, the
recollections of the past provide “a stable image onto which new elements are
superimposed” (Schwartz, 1991, p. 234).
IV) Functional for groups and communities: social, political and cultural functions
(Wagner-Pacifi and Schwartz, 1991). The social function refers mainly to the study of
how social groups constitute and reconstruct the topics of memory. In this way, the act
of remembering leads us to take into account the use of remembering to shape the
group belonging and exclusion, the social order and the community. Remembering
turns into a social marker that indicates those who belong to us or those who do not:
it categorizes us and them. In relation to the social order, the remembering, for
example, of wars and economic crises of the past reinforces support for the social order.
Political function refers to the activities that influence politics, both at a broad and at
a day-to-day level, including identity, continuity and stability of the system, repression
and political power. For example, the constitution and maintenance of political identity
is usually validated across a stable past: reconstruction of the past so that it fits in with
the present [in Spain, the 70’s saw the beginnings of a new questioning of the official
interpretation of the SCW: the war as rebellion against the legitimate democratic
regime (Gibson, 2005)]. Salazar (1998) had posited that the establishing and
maintenance of political identity is constituted across a vision of a stable past which
essentializes the group. Thus, the foundational myths, symbols, images and
remembering, taken as a whole, constitute the identity of a group or community and
provide them with orientation in time and space (Smith, 1986). Nevertheless, the
relation between memory and identity often disrupts the group goals of cohesion such
as continuity or stability. For example, in times of political repression, remembering
silences the voices of people who try to interpret the past in a contradictory form.
Dominated groups (minority groups, stateless nations, women, etc) usually have the
version of CM created by dominating groups, which is assumed to be either beyond
question, or in a form of counter-memory (Foucault, 1977). In this sense the
importance of memory was underlined by Le Goff (1992) when he argued that “to
make themselves the masters of memory and forgetfulness is one of the great
preoccupations of the classes, groups and individuals who have dominated and
continue to dominate historical societies” (p. 54).
In sum, the updating of studies on CM with the characteristics of dynamic, complex,
inserted in group dynamics and functional, turns them into an “object” of study with
similar characteristics to those that the SRT raises (Haas and Jodelet, 2000).
Paraphrasing Moscovici, studies of CM address themselves to those systems of belief,
ideas and social practices where time plays a double function: first, to establish an order
that makes it possible for individuals to orient themselves and to control the social world
in which they live, and secondly, to facilitate communication between the members of
a community by providing them with a code to name and to classify the several aspects
of their world and their individual and group history. Finally, this relation between the
works of social memory and SR may contribute to the processes, to use the terminology
of Moscovici (1988), of polemic and emancipated representations – the object of desire
of H. Mead, on the one hand – as well as of hegemonic representations taking time as a
social representation. Only in this sense will we be able to cope with what the sociologist
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Jedlowsky defined as these “series of SR relative to the past that every group produces,
institutionalizes and transmits through the interaction among their members” (2001, p.
33). Institutional support plays an important role as social affordance that reinforces the
importance of conflictive past and facilitates a way of dealing with it. This is why the
effects of the salience of a legislative initiative related to the SCW on beliefs and attitudes
are analyzed here. Like other articles in this monograph, institutional initiatives of
remembering and reparation, such as the “Law of Memory”, can be conceived as rituals
helping to construct and modify a social representation of the past, thus fulfilling
psychosocial functions.
Overview of the study and hypotheses
Based on Doise´s Three-Phase model, and understanding by social representations
“a general theory about a metasystem of social regulations intervening in the system of
cognitive functioning” (Doise, Clemence and Lorenzi-Cioldi, 1993, p. 56), three main
steps to the analysis of SR can be proposed: 1) there are shared memories or common
points of reference, 2) this does not imply consensual agreement: there are different
social positions anchored in shared knowledge and values of different groups (political
left vs. right), and 3) differences in psycho-social processes (remembering, evaluation of
events, emotions) are guided by those normative regulations of social positions.
In previous research we had found that making salient the SCW (Valencia and Paez,
1999) differences appeared in remembering and psychosocial processes (sharing,
forgetting, etc.). Moreover (Páez, Valencia, Marques and Vincze, 2004), those
psychosocial processes were anchored in different social positions (ideological and
generational). Furthermore, studies of collective guilt had underlined the role that
emotional psychosocial processes like guilt (Brown, González, Zagefka, Manzi, and
Cehajic, 2008; Doosje, Branscombe, Spears and Manstead, 1998; Iyer, Leach, and
Crosby, 2003; Maitner, Mackie, and Smith, 2006) play in the relationship between
apologies and reparation.
In the interlink between SRT and CM, this study aims to analyze the impact of
making salient the Spanish Law of Memory on beliefs about the SCW and functions
and expectancies of remembering, as well as on psychosocial variables such as emotional
climate and collective guilt, shame and sorrow, and reparatory behaviours.
First, as a social tool reinforcing the importance and assumption of a negative past,
it is argued that the positive psychosocial role of making salient the Law of Memory
(the Law approved by the Spanish Government in 2006) will improve agreement with
beliefs about the SCW, functions and expectancies of remembering as well as social
cohesion, leading to a more positive social climate. Moreover, as an external ritual
facilitating the emergence of collective emotions and related behaviours, the salience of
the Law will reinforce collective guilt, shame and sorrow, and agreement with
reparatory actions. Secondly, these processes will be both anchored in ideological
positions (left and right) and more positive for the vicarious victim groups (left).
Thirdly, because of the supposed central role of collective and personal self-conscious
emotions, it is argued that the relationship between the apology ritual – salience of the
Law – and reparatory behaviours will be mediated by self-centred emotions of collective
guilt and shame and sorrow.
Method
Participants
133 subjects (57.7% female), students of the University of the Basque Country, took
part in the experiment. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two
conditions: experimental and control.
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Design, Procedure and Measures
The questionnaire consisted of two parts. In the first part of the experiment,
participants were asked to read an informative text about the consequences of the SCW
– killings and victims of reprisals. The text was as follows: “Later on, part of a report
written by leading historians is presented. First, read it carefully in order to form the
most accurate impression possible of it. Afterwards you will be asked to answer some
questions. Take as long as you like to read the report”.
“During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) between 150,000 and 200,000
civilians and military personnel were killed as a result of the fighting. According to
some historians, it is estimated that 75,000 Republican soldiers and 66,000 Nationals
died. The Republicans and Nationals mobilized up to 750,000 soldiers each, which
suggests a mobilization of 6% of the population (one and a half million out of 25
million people), and 10% of mortal casualties among the military men. However the
casualties including injured men were higher, up to 60% of the Republicans and 40%
of the Nationals in the battle of Jarama.”
The report included information about political repression on the Republican and
National sides (massive summary executions of priests and political activists, the
bombings of Gernika and Durango, the repression of Franco’s post-war rule, etc.
(García de Cortázar 2006, in elmundo.es, 28th March; Bennassar, 2005; Barusso, 2005;
Beevor, 2005; Juliá, 1999).
In the case of the experimental group, the above information was followed by
additional information about the Law of Memory being approved by the Spanish
Parliament and intended to honour the victims of the SCW and Franco’s reprisals in
the Basque Country and Spain. The information (taken from Cué, 2008) was as follows:
“More than a million victims of reprisal will be able to be honoured officially: the
Executive initiates the development of the Law of Memory, approved in January. The
Government, three weeks after the judge Baltasar Garzón rekindled the controversy,
decided to send to the Council of State four royal decrees that develop the norm (there
were 210,000 killed, 400,000 imprisoned and 650,000 exiled; another decree refers to
those who died for democracy between 1968 and 1977)”.
The report offered the characteristics of the four Royal Decrees:
a) Official Declaration (Cué, 2008, p 2): “Repair and personal recognition of the
persons who suffered pursuit or violence, for political or ideological reasons or for
religious belief, during the Civil War and the dictatorship can be requested through
the spouse, his/her ascendancies, his/her descendants and his/her collateral ones up to
the second degree”
b) Indemnifications to those murdered between 1968 and 1977 (Cué, 2008, p 2). To
persons who died in defence of democracy or who suffered injuries during the
Transition (from January 1, 1968 to October 6, 1977), 135,000 Euros to the deceased.
c) Nationality. To the members of the International Brigade who were forced to
resign to theirs in their countries.
d) Private documents. “Documents and other effects of a private nature stored away in
the General Archive of the Spanish Civil War will be returned to their rightful
owners”.
The second part of the questionnaire included the following measures to evaluate
the meaning and emotions that the Law of Memory raised:
Beliefs and information about the SCW and functions and expectancies about remembering the
past. Several items of information about the remembering of the SCW and the law of
memory were taken from available surveys: Instituto OPINA (July 2006) and CIS
(2005) (see Table I for items); items about the importance and functions of
remembering as well as about the expectancies of a truth commission (McGovern and
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Lundy, 2001). Finally, some items were taken from earlier research (see Table II for
items).
Emotional Climate Scale (Páez, Ruiz, Gailly, Kornblit and Wiesenfeld, 1997). This
study used the 7 items of this scale to assess the perception of a positive climate (e.g.,
the social environment or climate is one of hope). Participants were asked to assess the
current state of their country, indicating their degree of agreement with a series of
statements by means of a 5-point scale ranging from 1 = not at all to 5 = very strongly
(α= .79).
Collective Guilt Scale (Branscombe, Slugoski, and Kappen, 2004). This scale consists
of 10 items which form two dimensions of collective guilt acceptance (e.g., I regret
some of the things that my group has done to others in the past) and collective
responsibility (e.g., a group should feel responsible for the actions of its members), each
subscale including 5 items. Respondents were asked to express their degree of
agreement on a 7-point scale (7 = strongly agree, 1 = strongly disagree) (α= .80).
Shame and Sorrow. Two ad-hoc created items were applied to measure the personal
experience of shame (When I think how we treated the victims of collective violence
over the years, I feel ashamed) and sorrow (I feel sorrow for and regret the damage that
has been done to the victims of collective violence over the years) (α= .72).
Reparation (Doosje, Branscombe, Spears, & Manstead, 2006). This measure
consisted of two items addressing willingness to endorse compensations, whether
material (The Government should provide more money to the victims for what they
suffered during the past years) or symbolic (The Government should perform more
declarations of repentance and moral reparation to the victims for what they suffered
in the past) (α= .75).
Evaluation of the source. From 1 (not at all positive) to 7 (very positive).
Political Ideology. A measure of political orientation was used ranging from 1 (extreme
right-wing) to 10 (extreme left-wing) (M= 6.5, SD = 1.51). A dummy variable was
composed dividing the sample by the midpoint (5) into right-wing (43.8%) and left-
wing (56.2%).
Results
Manipulation check
T-Test analysis revealed that the information provided by the message was perceived
as negative (M= 3.5; SD = 1.88), deviating significantly from the scale midpoint 4
(t(131) = 21.43, p< .000). ANOVA analysis with manipulation and ideology as
independent variables, and evaluation of the source as a dependent variable, show
significant effects of salience versus control groups (F(1, 120) = 7.59, p< .000, MSE =
2.21): the salience of the Law of Memory led to a better evaluation of the message (M
= 3.88, SD = 1.70) than the control condition (M= 2.94, SD = 1.97). Neither main
effects nor interaction effects were found with respect to ideology (p> .005).
Effects of salience of the law on beliefs about the SCW and functions and expectancies about
remembering the past
First, comparisons of surveys and our research show that the items related to
knowledge about the war received similar ratings (high scores in knowing what
happened, in speaking about it in the family and in victims in the family). However, the
items related to the Law of Memory showed a higher agreement in our study than in the
surveys with the Law, and with investigating mass graves, a lower agreement with not
speaking about or looking into the SCW and a higher agreement with adopting a sign
of recognition. Moreover, both in surveys and in our study, the left scored higher in
knowing what happened, speaking in the family and victims in the family, as well as in
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the items related to the Law of Memory: higher agreement with the Law and with
investigating mass graves, a lower agreement with not speaking about or looking into the
SCW and a higher agreement with adopting a sign of recognition.
Second, χ2analysis of the relationship between manipulation and the answer to each of
the items of our study showed no significant differences in the items related to knowledge
about the war, but it did in the items related to the Law of Memory. The salience of the
Law of Memory, when compared to the control condition, led to a higher agreement with
the suitability of the law (59.5% vs. 40.5%), with investigating mass graves (56% vs.
44%), and also a higher agreement with not investigating anything (57% vs. 43%). No
differences appeared with respect to the item about adopting a sign of recognition.
Moreover, χ2tests on the relationship between ideological positioning and the
answer to the items showed that the left scored higher in speaking about it in the
family (χ2(1) = 4.91, p< .02) and victims in the family (χ2(1)= 3.01; p< .05), and agreed
more with the suitability of the Law (χ2(1) = 10.60, p< .00), and with adopting a sign
of recognition (χ2(1) = 6.67, p < .03).
TABLE I
Percentages of knowledge and agreement on the items of information and beliefs about SCW and the Law:
comparing surveys, present study and left and right
Item Total Total
Survey Right Left Study Right Left
aDo you know what happened the 18th
July of 1936 in Spain? 74.40 78.00 82.20 74.20 72.60 75.70
aDoes your family speak about the 18th
July of 1936 or the SCW? 48.80 40.40 59.20 42.70 34.40 50.70*
aDo you have in your family any victim
of the SCW? 43.30 40.00 45.55 46.60 42.60 57.40
aThe Government prepares a Law of
Historic Memory. Do you think it is 54.90 30.40 75.25 62.90 48.40 75.70*
convenient?
aAre you in favour of investigating all
that relative to the Civil War and mass 64.50 44.80 78.50 78.60 72.60 84.10*
graves, and of rehabilitating all the
affected?
aDo you agree or disagree with the
following: the best one can do about the 28.30 47.40 19.20 11.40 5.70 17.70*
18th of July of 1936 and the Civil War is
not to speak nor to investigate it.
bDo you agree with adopting any
initiative as a sign of recognition to the 54.10 42.90 71.45 72.70 62.90 81.40*
victims?
aItems from Opina Survey, 2006
bItem from CIS (Center of Sociological Research), 2005
* p< .05
In relation to remembering the past and functions and expectancies about it, again,
χ2tests were performed to analyse the relationship between salience of the law versus
control, and the answers to each of the items (see Table II). The salience of the Law led
to a higher agreement with the functions of CM preventing it from happening again
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(χ2(1) = 4.23, p < .03) and punishing the culprits (χ2(1) = 7.80, p< .00). Moreover, in
relation to the commission of truth and expectancies about it, results showed that the
salience of the Law led to a higher acceptance of helping to improve the social
environment (χ2(1) = 5.99, p < .05), knowing the truth of the facts (χ2(1) = 8.77, p < .01)
and helping society to be less divided (χ2(1) = 6.56, p< .03). Interestingly, no differences
were found as to the importance of remembering and the functions of knowing the
history and honouring the victims, or as to the importance or the expectancy of a truth
commission for a new beginning in local politics.
TABLE II
Percentages of agreement on the items of Remembering of the past, functions and expectancies: present study,
control, manipulation and left and right
ItemaTotal
Study Control Exp. Right Left
Do you think that it is important in the
country to remember what happened? (Yes) 78.4 43.9 56.1 38.7 68.3*
Do you… In order for it not to happen again? 74.6 41.5 58.5* 43 58
Do you… to know the history? 65.9 44.6 55.4 41.6 58.4
Do you… to punish the culprits? 16.7 19 81** 43 56*
Do you…to honour the victims? 44.4 42.9 57.1 36.2 64.8*
To have a truth commission (TC) is important. 42.1 41.7 58.3 38.9 68.1*
A TC should help to improve the social
environment. 22.5 25.9 74.1* 36.7 63.3*
A TC should be achieved to know the
truth of the facts. 21.2 20 80** 33.3 66.7
A TC should be a new start for the local
politics. 17.8 28.6 71.4 28 72*
A TC should help society to be less divided. 16.9 20 80** 50 50
a Ítems from previos research (Bowoknik et al., 2010) and McGovern et al. (2001)
* p.05
** p.01
The effects of ideology with respect to remembering, functions and expectancies
about the future were again analysed by χ2tests. The results indicated that the left,
when compared to the right, showed a higher acceptance of the importance of
remembering (χ2(1) = 4.32, p< .03) as well as the functions of punishing the culprits
(χ2(1) = 3.89, p< .05) and honouring the victims (χ2(1) = 3.05, p< .05), showed a higher
agreement with the importance of the commission of truth (χ2(1) = 10.87, p< .00) and
a higher expectancy of improving the social environment (χ2(1) = 3.32, p< .05) and its
providing a new beginning for local politics (χ2(1) = 3.39, p< .04).
The role of salience of the Law and of ideology on emotional climate, collective guilt, shame and
reparatory behaviours
Anovas were performed in order to analyse the role of salience of the Law of Memory
and of ideological position on climate, guilt, shame and reparatory actions. The results
81
Social Representations and Memory / J.-F. Valencia et al.
06. VALENCIA 9/12/09 11:35 Página 81
showed a significant univariate effect of manipulation F(1, 119) = 3.01, p< .05, MSE =
0.93, as well as an interaction effect F(1, 119) = 3.11, p< .05, MSE = 0.84 for emotional
climate. Salience of the Law led to a more positive climate than the control condition
(M= 2.76, SD = 0.86 vs. M= 2.49, SD = 0.76). Moreover, while the right-wing did
not change with manipulation, it was the left-wing who changed: a more positive
climate was perceived by the left in the experimental condition than in the control
condition. Regarding collective guilt, the analysis yielded a significant effect of
manipulation F(1, 119) = 5.51, p< .01, MSE = 0.93. The experimental condition
produced both for left and right – a higher level of guilt than the control condition
(M = 3.91, SD = 0.97 vs. M= 4.34, SD = 0.94). In relation to shame, the analysis
showed a significant effect for manipulation F(1, 119) = 4.63, p< .03, MSE = 1.29 (M=
2.09, SD = 1.10 vs. M= 3.42, SD = 1.17) and for ideological position F(1, 119) = 4.37,
p < .03, MSE =1.32 (right M= 2.92, SD = 1.13 vs. left M= 3.36, SD = 1.16). No
interaction effects were found (p > .05). Finally, in relation to reparatory actions the
analysis yielded a significant effect of manipulation F(1, 119) = 3.56, p< .05, MSE = 0.91)
(control M= 3.75, SD = 1.67 vs. salience of the Law M= 4.32, SD = 1.57).
With regard to the hypothesis proposing the association of salience of the Law with
guilt and shame, and the mediating role of emotions with respect to reparations, first,
correlations were performed. The analysis showed that reparation only had significant
relations with shame and sorrow (r(112) = .62, p< .001), collective guilt (r(112) = .21, p<
.02) and manipulation – 2 experimental conditions or salience and 1 control condition
(r(112) = .17, p< .05). Manipulation had stronger relationships with shame (r(112) = .21,
p< .001) and collective guilt (r(112) = .23, p< .001) than with reparation. Moreover,
ideology only had significant relationships with shame (r(112) = .25, p< .00) and
manipulation (r(112) = 19, p< .02). Thus, the analysis showed that manipulation had a
stronger relationship with shame and collective guilt than with reparation, and there
was no mediation of ideology. Secondly, in order to analyze the mediating role of
collective guilt on the relationship between manipulation and reparation, the
procedure advocated by Baron and Kenny (1986) was used.
Figure 1 displays the results in relation to the mediating role of collective guilt. The
results showed that manipulation scores had a significant effect on collective guilt, and
that collective guilt was in turn predictive of reparation. This evidence means that
collective guilt fulfils the two initial requirements of a mediating variable. The final
and most basic requirement specified by Baron and Kenny is that a mediating variable
should predict the dependent variable (reparation) even when the independent variable
(manipulation) is statistically controlled, while the effect of the independent variable
on the dependent measure should be substantially reduced when the mediating
Revista de Psicología Social, 2010, 25 (1), pp. 73-86
82
TABLE III
Emotional climate, Collective Guilt, Personal Shame and Sorrow and Reparation by control versus salience of
Law and ideology
Control Experimental
Right Left Right Left
Emotional climate* 2.60 2.37 2.61 2.85
Collective Guilt** 3.85 3.97 4.40 4.28
Personal shame and sorrow** 2.73 3.10 3.08 3.56
Reparation** 3.69 3.79 4.05 4.25
* emocional Climate: a 5 point scale ranking from 1 = not at all to 5 = very strongly.
** Collective Guilt, Personal Shame and Reparation: a 7 –point scale ranking from 7 = strongly agree to
1 = strongly disagree.
06. VALENCIA 9/12/09 11:35 Página 82
variable is statistically controlled. Figure 1 indicates that these requirements are
fulfilled in the present case. The effect of manipulation on reparation becomes lowered
when collective guilt is statistically controlled, and the effect of collective guilt on
reparation remains similar when manipulation is statistically controlled. To test
whether this pattern of results reflects a significant reduction in the variance accounted
for by manipulation, a z-score test was performed (Sobel, 1988). The analysis produced
a significant change (z= 1.56, p< .05) from .58 to .44. This means that the direct
effect of manipulation on reparation is .44 while the indirect effect through collective
guilt is 14. In sum, the fact that we found a significant correlation means that
mediation has occurred, showing that the effect of manipulation on reparation is
mediated by collective guilt.
With respect to the mediating role of shame, the manipulation scores had a
significant effect on shame and this, in turn, was predictive of reparation. Figure 1 also
indicates that the effect of manipulation on reparation becomes lowered when shame is
statistically controlled, and the effect of shame on reparation remains similar when
manipulation is statistically controlled. Similarly the Sobel Test produced a significant
change (z= 2.26, p< .01) from .57 to .11. This means that the direct effect of
manipulation on reparation is .11 while the indirect effect through shame is 46. In
summary, the fact that we found a significant correlation means that mediation has
occurred, showing that the effect of manipulation on reparation is mediated by shame.
The analysis also showed that the individual measure of shame was more sensitive to
manipulation (indirect effect of .46) than the collective guilt measure (indirect effect of
.14).
Discussion
The results confirm the positive psychosocial role of making salient the Law of
Memory. This institutional action or ritual of recalling negative past misdeeds
reinforces agreement with particular aspects of the Law (the desirability of the Law, the
investigation of graves, and not forgetting), with the functions of remembering
(preventing it from happening again and punishing the culprits) and expectations
about the future, as well as a better climate, reparation and personal and group
83
Social Representations and Memory / J.-F. Valencia et al.
FIGURE 1
Collective Guilt and Personal Shame and Sorrow as mediators of the effect of Manipulation on Reparation.
Path weights are unstandardized. The path weights in parentheses do not control for the effect of the mediator
COLLECTIVE
GUILT
.42* .33* (35*)
.44 (.58*)
MANIPULATIO N .11 (.57*) REPARATION
.52* .87* (88*)
PERSONAL
SHAME AND
SORROW
* p< .05
06. VALENCIA 9/12/09 11:35 Página 83
emotions. From this point of view, the study confirms the hypothesis about the positive
impact of rituals also found in other studies (see Bobowik, Bilbao, and Momoitio,
2010, and Páez, 2010, this issue). However, the analysis of the effect of the salience of
the Law on beliefs and information about the SCW has shown that there are elements
that are not sensitive to manipulation, i.e. elements that pertain to the core of SR.
These elements are assumed by the participants without being put into question and
they consist of basic information about the SCW, the importance of remembering for
society and the importance of the commission of truth, as well as the functions of
honouring the victims and knowing the history. In other words, nowadays
–comparing, for example, with the 60s – everybody knows what happened on the 18th
July, speaks about it and agrees with adopting initiatives of recognition of the victims.
There are, however, items that were more “sensitive” to manipulation, i.e. elements
belonging to the peripheral aspects of the SR about the past. These elements refer to
agreement with aspects of the Law of Memory, to the functions of preventing it from
happening again and punishing the culprits as well as to the expectancies of improving
the social environment, knowing the truth of the facts and helping society to be less
divided. In other words, there are elements of the representation of the past which are
not consensually assumed, and they are reinforced when the institutional act of
reparation is made salient: the desirability of the Law of Memory, investigation of mass
graves, refusal to speak about it or disapproval of investigating anything, the functions
of remembering or punishing the culprits and in particular the expectancies about the
future: improving the social environment, knowing the truth of the facts and helping
society to be less divided (For instance, the current discussion in the Spanish media
about the case of Judge Garzón and Manos Limpias).
Moreover, in relation to the psychosocial effects of institutional acts of
commemoration and reparation, making salient the Law of Memory induces a more
positive climate – especially among those on the left – higher collective guilt, shame
as well as reparatory behaviours.
Regarding the hypothesis of anchoring in ideological position, the results have also
shown interesting findings. On the one hand the left scored higher than the right in
the items related to knowledge of the War: knowing what happened, speaking about
it in family and victims in family. The left showed a higher agreement with the
desirability of the Law of Memory, with investigating graves, a higher disagreement
with not investigating anything and a higher agreement with adopting a sign of
recognition. Furthermore, the left, when compared to the right, showed a higher
acceptance of the importance of remembering as well as of the functions of punishing
the culprits and honouring the victims, a higher agreement with the importance of the
commission of truth and a higher expectancy of improving the social environment and
offering a new beginning for local politics. Altogether the left, compared to the right,
was more pro-remembering, launching the Law and its functions, and attached greater
importance to remembering the past and to expectancies about the future. Also,
ideological positioning interacted with the experimental manipulation with respect to
emotional climate – the left showed a more positive climate in the manipulation
condition while the right showed no change – and in the individual aspect of self-
centred emotion, the left showed more shame than the right. However, left and right
were similar in the collective aspect of self-conscious emotion and reparation, i.e. no
differences were found between left and right in collective guilt and reparation
In relation to the last hypothesis, the results showed the importance of the
mediation of collective and individual self-conscious emotions. Making the Law salient
reinforces agreement with new reparatory behaviours. However, the collective and
individual aspects of self-centred emotions play a mediating role. Collective guilt and
shame mediated the relation in different ways: the measure of shame was more sensitive
to manipulation than the collective guilt measure. This finding is in line with
Revista de Psicología Social, 2010, 25 (1), pp. 73-86
84
06. VALENCIA 9/12/09 11:35 Página 84
Moscovici’s claim for the role of guilt in our societies where the ethos of guilt allows us
to feel shame for the victims at an individual level but not guilt at the collective level,
which means the impossibility of changing the “questio facti” to the “questio juris”
(2005, p. 4).
Finally, this study suggests that there are some central elements of CM that are
consensually agreed, like information about the SCW, the importance for society to
remember and the importance of a commission of truth, as well as the functions of
honouring the victims and knowing the history. Other elements, however, are
controversial and there is considerable disagreement: some aspects of the Law of
Memory, the preventive functions of CM, in order for it not to happen again and
punishing the culprits, as well as the expectancies of improving the social environment,
knowing the truth of the facts and helping society to be less divided. These results
confirm the differential role played by the central and peripheral aspects of
representations, also shown in other political contexts (see Wagner, Elejabarrieta, and
Valencia, 1994 for the case of war and peace,) – in other words, the role played by both,
conflict between memories and memory of repression, found by Jodelet (1998).
85
Social Representations and Memory / J.-F. Valencia et al.
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... La investigación sobre equidad, agresión y culpa demuestra que toda vez que las personas se hacen conscientes de los perjuicios que han causado, típicamente ofrecen compensaciones, junto con otros tipos de comportamiento prosocial, a aquellos que han sido dañados (Barkan, 2000; Roccas, Klar & Liviatan, 2004). Estudios recientes en torno a la relación que se puede establecer entre reparación y emociones a nivel grupal indican que las personas que se identifican con grupos involucrados en acciones colectivas dañinas están dispuestas a apoyar la reparación, particularmente cuando se sienten colectivamente culpables o avergonzadas (Branscombe, 1998; Brown, González, Zagefka, Manzi & Čehajić, 2008; Doosje, Branscombe, Spears & Manstead, 1998; Valencia, Momoitio & Idoyaga, 2010). Es decir, la reparación puede predecirse en base a emociones intergrupales asociadas al haber causado perjuicios o daño a otros. ...
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This article analyzes the association between knowledge of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), evaluation of TRC´s achievements, experience of victimization, attitudes towards remembering and forgetting past political violence, perceptions of socio-emotional climate (SEC), belief in forgiveness and attitudes toward violence in Peru based on a study conducted in three Peruvian cities with different rates of victimization due to political violence during 1980-2000 (n=1200). Results showed that a positive attitude toward remembering the past of political violence was predominant and related to a positive evaluation of TRC´s achievements. Attitude toward remembering also has an ambivalent association with both positive and negative SECs, and victims of political violence showed relative low agreement. On the other hand, attitude toward forgetting is less accepted by participants and also was related to both positive and negative SECs. Attitude toward forgetting has more societal costs, since it is positively related to attitudes toward violence and decreases knowledge and a positive evaluation of TRC. In general, findings suggest that remembering traumatic events has an emotional cost, but also it is 1 shown that remembering seems to be more protective for society in long-term than forgetting.
... Different intergroup phenomena, such as delegitimization and dehumanization of the adversary (Bar-Tal, 2001;Oren & Bar-Tal, 2006;Staub, 1999), the depersonalization of victims (Sabucedo, Blanco, & De la Corte, 2003), or the mirror image (Bronfenbrenner, 1961) come to the fore in violent, long-standing conflicts and make any attempt to improve relations between adversaries very difficult. Thirdly here, and together with these cognitive and perceptive mechanisms, the existence of emotional aspects has also been recognized in intergroup conflicts and in their solutions (Fisher, 2000;Halperin, 2008;Valencia, Momoitio, & Idoyaga, 2010). ...
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In this study, two questions are analyzed: (1) what the emotions provoked by the Spanish government's declaration of its intention to negotiate a peace process with the terrorist group ETA are; (2) how these emotions relate to different attitudes to this negotiation. A questionnaire was applied to a sample of 263 university students. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to verify how emotions were organized and an ANOVA was subsequently conducted to analyze the relationship between emotions and attitudes to negotiation. With respect to the first question, the emotions which are linked to the negotiation process are classified in a three factor model (enthusiasm, anger and anxiety), and with respect to the second, it became clear that the emotion of anger is associated with subjects who are against negotiation. At the same time, enthusiasm and anxiety were associated with different attitudes to negotiation, support and rejection respectively; however, both these emotions were also found to be present among those who wanted the different political parties to reach an agreement and face the process of negotiation with a common policy.
... Se ha detectado que en los países en que se han desarrollado CV y cuyo trabajo es valorado positivamente por la población, existe una mejora en la situación política (Sikkink y Booth-Walling, 2007 ) y una mayor valoración de los derechos humanos (Pérez-Sales, Vázquez y Arnoso, 2009; Beristain et al., 2010), así como mayores niveles de confianza institucional (Bar-Tal, 2011; Cárdenas et al, 2012). Asimismo, en los contextos en que se hace saliente la petición de disculpas se observa una mejora en el clima emocional (Bobowik, Bilbao y Momoitio, 2010) que incluye la percepción de solidaridad y confianza social (Valencia, Momoitio y Idoyaga, 2010). El presente artículo explora la actitud hacia el pasado represivo y el conocimiento, impacto y valoración que las diferentes generaciones chilenas tienen acerca de las dos comisiones que han abordado los crímenes cometidos en el pasado por la dictadura chilena. ...
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RESUMEN El presente artículo explora la actitud hacia la violencia colectiva pasada y el conocimiento, impacto y valoración que diferentes generaciones chilenas tienen acerca de las dos Comisiones de Verdad (CV) que han abordado los crímenes cometidos en el pasado por la dictadura de Pinochet. La población más joven, quienes no vivieron la dictadura, compa-radas con las generaciones mayores que si lo hicieron, dicen compartir o hablar menos sobre el periodo de la violencia, conocen menos el trabajo de las comisio-nes y evalúan a las TC y a las disculpas oficiales sobre los crímenes como menos eficaces. Sin embargo, los más jóvenes comparten más fuertemente la importan-cia de revisar el pasado y aprender de la historia. ABSTRACT This article explores the attitude towards past collective violence and the knowledge, impact and evaluation that different Chilean generations report about two Truth Commissions (TC) related to Pinochet's dictatorship. Younger population , that didn't live the dictatorship, compared with older generations, reports low social sharing about past violence, low knowledge about TC, and evaluates as less effective both TC and official apologies by respect to Pinochet's crimes. Nevertheless, younger generation agree more with those who believe in the importance of reviewing the past and to learn lessons from history.
... Research in social psychology has found a qualitative difference between interpersonal and intergroup relations: usually conflict is more extreme at an intergroup than at an interpersonal level. This principle of qualitative differences between interpersonal and intergroup processes is reproduced in the domain of apologies: in comparison with interpersonal apologies, intergroup or collective apologies are perceived as suspicious and insincere (Bobowik et al., 2010, this issue;Valencia, Momoitio & Idoyaga, 2010, this issue) and implying low remorse (Philpot & Hornsey, 2006). ...
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This article argues that institutional apologies are rituals that can be conceived from a neo-Durkheimian viewpoint as external social tools of collective emotion, which allow people to assume collective guilt and shame, increase agreement with reparatory behaviors, and reinforce social cohesion. The review of studies presented in this monograph shows that an apology reactivates and intensifies collective emotions, mainly of shame and guilt, above and beyond merely reminding people of past misdeeds, and increases support for reparation. Shame and sorrow fuel and support reparative tendencies. Finally, salience of past collective violence together with an apology improves social climate to some extent, enhances intergroup reconciliation by decreasing prejudice and improving intergroup contact, and helps to reconstruct in-group collective memory in a more critical way. Changes in collective emotions and representations of the past mediate the positive effects of apologies on reparation and social cohesion.
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Interest: This research analyses the influence of situations on salespersons’ gestures and behaviors. This research contributes to this underresearched field by exploring the impact of stressful versus nonstressful situations on salespersons’ personal behavior. Methods: This research is based on 1,205 gestures observed during 382 sales calls that averaged 11 minutes with 382 salespersons. Half were in stressful situations, and half were in nonstressful situations. This study focuses on pharmaceutical products (drugs) in the medical field, with 95 doctors, 6 judges, 304 average performing salespersons, 39 high performers, and 39 low performers. This study shows how salespersons’ behaviors vary depending on stressful and nonstressful situations. This research also articulates a new field of sales research that is understudied by researchers and suggests new training trends in sales management. Objective: The objective is to answer questions such as “Does stress influence salespersons’ behavior, and what are the gestures most affected by such situations?” To examine the effects of training on gestures, an experiment with 97 salespersons was conducted during a sales training session. This experiment measured whether salespersons trained on gestures behaved differently than those who were untrained. Results: In general, stressful or nonstressful situations caused real differences in gestural behavior. In particular, the best salespersons performed the largest number of gestures during stressful situations. For example, stressful situations increased the mechanical or emotional gestures in leg movements or the number of glances.
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Between 1800 and 1865, Americans remembered George Washington as a man of remoteness, gentility, and flawless virtue; after 1865 they began to remember him as an ordinary, imperfect man with whom common people could identify. Washington's post-Civil War transformation adds weight to Mead's and Halbwachs's belief that the past is mutable, made and remade for present use. Yet Americans never forgot Washington's original, aristocratic image. Setting limits on later generations' ability to democratize Washington, this enduring image reflects Durkheim's and Shils's ideas on how collective memories outlive changes in society. The very nature of these societal changes, however, determined how much of Washington's original image was revised and retained. Thus separate theories cannot explain change and continuity in collective memory; a single theory must explain both.
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PrefacePAST/PRESENTThe distinction between past and present in psychologyThe distinction between past and present in light of linguisticsThe distinction between past and present in primitive thoughtGeneral reflections on the distinction between past and present in historical consciousnessThe evolution of the relation between past and present in European thought from ancient Greece to the nineteenth centuryThe ghost of the past, the history of the present, and the fascination with the future in the twentieth centuryANTIQUE (ANCIENT)/MODERNAn ambiguous Western pairingIn this pair the modern is the main problemThe ambiguity of the antique (ancient): Greco-Roman antiquity and other antiquitiesThe Modern and its copetitors: Modern and New, Modern and ProgressAntique (ancient)/modern and history: Quarrels between Ancients and Moderns in preindustrial Europe from the sixth to the eighteenth centuriesAntique (ancient)/modern and history: Modernism, modernization, modernity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuriesDomains that reveal modernismThe historical conditions of the recognition of modernismThe ambiguity of the modernMEMORYEthnic MemoryThe Rise of Memory: From Orality to Writing, from Prehistory to AntiquityMemory in the Middle Ages: Western EuropeThe Progress of Written and Figured Memory from the Renaissance to the PresentContemporary Revolutions in MemoryConclusion: The Stake of MemoryHISTORYParadoxes and Ambiguities of HistoryIs History a science of the past, or is it true that "there is only contemporary history"?Knowledge and power: Objectivity and the manipulation of the pastThe singular and the universal: Generalizations and regularities in historyThe Historical Mentality: Men and the PastPhilosophies of HistoryHistory as a Science: The Historian's CraftHistory TodayEndnotesBibliographyAbout the AuthorIndex
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This article describes the basic framework of the field of sociology of memory. It offers an overview of themes and issues around (1) the social aspects of individual memory; (2) collective memories; and (3) cultural attitudes towards memory. Such issues are relevant today from the perspective of sociology of time, and the author demonstrates some theoretical problems that arise and some directions in which they can be further developed. But such issues are also relevant in social discourse and in shaping individual and collective identities: their comprehension helps to investigate continuity and discontinuity in social life, as well as current conflicts and cultural ties.