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Publication Detail
Remembering and forgetting in the wild: A social representations perspective
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Zadeh S
  • Publisher:
    Information Age Publishing
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    143, 164
  • ISBN-13:
  • Book title:
    Memory in the wild
The reification of memory as a distinct psychological concept, or category, is not without historical precedent (Danziger, 2008). However, a volume dedicated to a discussion of remembering – rather than thinking, talking or broadly, communicating – ‘in the wild’ would not be complete without some consideration of what is special about remembering, or what it is that distinguishes remembering from other psychosocial acts. Using my empirical research on single mothers via sperm donation, in this chapter I discuss the points of connection between Brown and Reavey’s insights on life space, setting specificity and ecologies of experience, and the theory of social representations. In surveying the existing literature on social representations and collective memory, I consider first two senses in which these concepts are connected: through the study of social representations of the past; and in the theorisation of what it means to represent phenomena-in-the-present. I go on to argue that Brown and Reavey’s contribution offers new insights into how remembering relates to representing, specifically in terms of ‘setting specificity’, the foundational concept upon which their ideas about ‘autobiographical remembering’ and ‘regimes of forgetting’ take shape. Thirdly, I engage with some of the scholarship that has attempted to differentiate between remembering and representing in relation to their respective underlying psychosocial processes, before suggesting that what is distinct between the two is difficult to discern. I conclude that thinking about remembering is nevertheless helpful for social representations scholars insofar as doing so may present new directions for the theorisation of identity.
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