Memory, Individual and Collective

Aleida Assmann

in The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780199270439
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

 Memory, Individual and Collective

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  • Comparative Politics
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This article considers the relevance of individual and collective memory in political analysis. It proposes that there are four formats of memory and these are individual memory, social memory, political memory, and cultural memory. It argues for the existence of collective memory and explains that human beings do not only live in the first person singular, but also in various formats of the first person plural. It contends that each ‘we’ is constructed through specific discourses that mark certain boundary lines and define respective principles of inclusion and exclusion and suggests that to acknowledge the concept of collective memory is to acknowledge the concept of some collective identity.

Keywords: individual memory; collective memory; political analysis; social memory; political memory; cultural memory; collective identity

Article.  6785 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions

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