An Interactional, Synchronic Approach to Collective Memory
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This book presents an innovative theoretical and empirical approach to the present attributions of meaning to the past. Based on the author’s fieldwork in the contemporary Polish town of Oswiecim - Auschwitz, in German - it observes the manner in which residents remember and narrate the past of their town, drawing on interactional perspectives from the work of figures such as George Herbert Mead, Erving Goffman to shed light on the shaping of memories in everyday interactions, both face-to-face and online. With attention to narratives concerning pre-war Catholic-Jewish coexistence, wartime Nazi Occupation, the Holocaust and post-war Communist Poland, the author explores the complementary, fluid and contradictory nature of meaning-making processes in various contemporary interactional contexts. As such, it will appeal to social scientists with interests in memory studies, the Holocaust and interactional sociology.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: a synchronic, interactional approach to collective memory 2. A critique of memory studies’ epistemologies 3. Collective memory and the self: towards an epistemology of ‘dividuals’ 4. Interactional memory methods 5. The politization of Auschwitz/Oświęcim since 1944: memory politics in Poland and beyond 6. Including or excluding Jews? An analysis of context dependent othering in Auschwitz/Oświęcim 7. Ethnifying agency: inhabitants of Auschwitz/Oświęcim narrating 1939-1945 8. Renegotiating Auschwitz: attribution of meaning to spatial realms in Auschwitz/Oświęcim 9. Conclusion Bibliography
Thomas Van de Putte is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Trento, Italy.