Collective memory and the media

Hoskins, A. (2008) Collective memory and the media. In: The International Encyclopedia of Communication. Blackwell: Malden, MA. ISBN 9781405131995

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Memory, according to the Greeks, is the precondition of human thought ( Samuel 1994 ). For psychologists, memory is also seen as a fundamental condition of consciousness. Not surprisingly, psychologists have constructed a variety of complex models of individual → memory. However, memories also require distinct social and communicative frameworks, patterned ways of framing the flow of remembered actions, images, sounds, smells, sensations, and impressions. Without social frameworks to anchor and sustain memories, they would soon falter and fade. This idea is central to the contribution of the sociologist Maurice Halbwachs (1877–1945) who advanced the study of memory beyond the individual and the interests of psychology at the time through his notion of “collective memory.” He believed that for individual memory to thrive it was reliant upon continuous support from “frameworks of social memory” (1992, 182). Memory is almost by definition part of the past, of course, yet in significant ways it is a central resource for making sense of the present and thus for extending the continuous present out to edges of the personal and collective horizons of time/space. An increasingly “presentist” perspective on memory is evident over the past thirty years with a growing premium placed on, and contestation of, memory in m

Item Type:Book Sections (Encyclopaedia entry)
Additional Information:The International Encyclopaedia of Communication is a 12 volume set (also available online). More precise details regarding this item were not available at the time of addition to Enlighten.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hoskins, Professor Andrew
Authors: Hoskins, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences

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