History and memory

This book deals with history's relationship to memory. By individual memory, it means a memory that is located in the minds of individuals and through which those individuals have knowledge of things that fall within their personal experience. Memory of this kind is an integral part of the mental functioning of individuals and is closely linked to concepts of personality and selfhood. But, individual or personal memory is also a part of the mental equipment that allows human beings to function in social settings. Its forms are influenced by its social uses, and it makes a contribution to social knowledge and social understanding that can be explored from a social as well as an individual angle. The book explores how individual memory is a resource both for individuals within society and for societies themselves and how it is connected to larger social processes. The exploration of social memory begins as a facet of the discussion of the social dimensions of in individual; it is carried further through the discussion of the workings of memory in social groups. It is then completed by the discussion of the ways in which representations, understandings and senses of the past are produced within the larger society.

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