"brilliant... an impressive tour de force" Network
*Why does collective memory matter?*How is social memory generated, maintained and reproduced?*How do we explain changes in the content and role of collective memory?Through a synthesis of old and new theories of social remembering, this book provides the first comprehensive overview of the sociology of memory. This rapidly expanding field explores how representations of the past are generated, maintained and reproduced through texts, images, sites, rituals and experiences. The main aim of the book is to show to what extent the investigation of memory challenges sociological understandings of the formation of social identities and conflicts. It illustrates the new status of memory in contemporary societies by examining the complex relationships between memory and commemoration, memory and identity, memory and trauma, and memory and justice.The book consists of six chapters, with the first three devoted to conceptualising the process of remembering by analyzing memory's function, status and history, as well as by locating the study of memory in a broader field of social science. The second part of the book directly explores and discusses theories and studies of social remembering. After a short conclusion, which argues that study of collective memory is an important part of any examination of contemporary society, the glossary offers a concise and up to date overview of the development of relevant theoretical concepts. The result is an essential text for undergraduate courses in social theory, the sociology of memory and a wider audience in cultural studies, history and politics.
Barbara A. Misztal is Professor of Sociology at Leicester University. She received her PhD from the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). She worked at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of PAN, Warsaw and Griffith University, Australia, teaching social science, politics and European Studies. She is the auuthor of Trust in Modern Society, Informality: Social Theory and Contemporary Practice and co-editor of Action on AIDS.