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Narrative, memory and social representations: a conversation between history and social psychology

Jovchelovitch, Sandra ORCID: 0000-0002-0073-2792 (2012) Narrative, memory and social representations: a conversation between history and social psychology. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 46 (4). pp. 440-456. ISSN 1932-4502

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s12124-012-9217-8


This paper explores relations between narrative, memory and social representations by examining how social representations express the ways in which communities deal with the historical past. Drawing on a case study of social representations of the Brazilian public sphere, it shows how a specific narrative of origins re-invents history as a useful mythological resource for defending identity, building inter-group solidarity and maintaining social cohesion. Produced by a time-travelling dialogue between multiple sources, this historical narrative is functional both to transform, to stabilise and give resilience to specific social representations of public life. The Brazilian case shows that historical narratives, which tend to be considered as part of the stable core of representational fields, are neither homogenous nor consensual but open polyphasic platforms for the construction of alternative, often contradictory, representations. These representations do not go away because they are ever changing and situated, recruit multiple ways of thinking and fulfil functions of identity, inter-group solidarity and social cohesion. In the disjunction between historiography and the past as social representation are the challenges and opportunities for the dialogue between historians and social psychologists.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media llc
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2012 10:23
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:58

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