Book Review: Handbook of Culture and Memory by Wagoner, B. (Ed.)

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Title: Book Review: Handbook of Culture and Memory by Wagoner, B. (Ed.)
Authors: Kovalyova, Natalia
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Date: 9-Jul-2018
Abstract: Connections between culture and memory have been actively explored by historians, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and literary theorists for a better part of the past century, most intensively since 1925 when Maurice Halbwachs published Social Framing of Memory (Les Cadres Sociaux de la Mémoire). These extensive efforts (Erll, Nunning, & Young, 2010; Erll & Young, 2011; Olick, Vinitzky-Seroussi, & Levy, 2011) have aimed to understand remembering, commemorating, forgetting, and related activities from the standpoint of the genres they adopt, the participants they involve, and the symbols they use. In that context, the current volume positions itself at the intersection of memory and culture and strives to rescue the former from causal explanations dear to the heart of psychologists in order to root it in social and symbolic practices. Thus, it is bound to cover a lot of familiar ground before it sheds new light on the subject. The Handbook of Culture and Memory edited by Brady Wagoner masters this task by arguing that culture is to be viewed as a resource for and constraint on the memory process (p. 3) and by detailing the intricate dynamics of memory and culture in several contexts. Readers, however, have to put aside expectations triggered by the volume’s designation as a handbook. Unlike most academic handbooks, this collection does not offer an exhaustive treatment of the latest research on the intersections of culture and memory, programmatic projections of future inquiries, or a comprehensive bibliography. Instead, it surveys a range of sites where memory and culture are involved in mutually constituting people’s pasts and presents.
Type of material: Review
Publisher: Sage
Journal: Journal of Language and Social Psychology
Copyright (published version): 2018 the Authors
Keywords: Mnemonic practicesCultural resourcesNarrative
DOI: 10.1177/0261927X18786331
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:UCD Clinton Institute Research Collection

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