13 Facts About Collective memory


Collective memory refers to the shared pool of memories, knowledge and information of a social group that is significantly associated with the group's identity.

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Collective memory can be constructed, shared, and passed on by large and small social groups.

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Collective memory has been a topic of interest and research across a number of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, and anthropology.

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Collective memory has been conceptualized in several ways and proposed to have certain attributes.

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Difference between history and collective memory is best understood when comparing the aims and characteristics of each.

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In contrast, collective memory focuses on a single perspective, for instance, the perspective of one social group, nation, or community.

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Consequently, collective memory represents past events as associated with the values, narratives and biases specific to that group.

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Theory of collective memory was discussed by former Hiroshima resident and atomic bomb survivor, Kiyoshi Tanimoto, in his tour of the United States as an attempt to rally support and funding for the reconstruction of his Memorial Methodist Church in Hiroshima.

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Collective memory theorized that the use of the atomic bomb had forever been added to the world's collective memory and would serve in the future as a warning against such devices.

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In practice, the construction of a completely collective memory is at best an aspiration of politicians, which is never entirely fulfilled and is always subject to contestations.

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The sociologist David Leupold draws attention to the problem of structural nationalism inherent in the notion of collective memory, arguing in favor of "emancipating the notion of collective memory from being subjected to the national collective" by employing a multi-collective perspective that highlights the mutual interaction of other memory collectives that form around generational belonging, family, locality or socio-political world views.

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Common approaches taken in psychology to study collective memory have included investigating the cognitive mechanisms involved in the formation and transmission of collective memory; and comparing the social representations of history between social groups.

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Research on collective memory have taken the approach to compare how different social groups form their own representations of history and how such collective memories can impact ideals, values, behaviors and vice versa.

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