Contextualising Autobiographical Remembering: An expanded view of memory

Book chapter


Brown, SD and Reavey, P (2017). Contextualising Autobiographical Remembering: An expanded view of memory. in: Meade, M, Harris, C, Van Bergen, P, Sutton, J and Barnier, A (ed.) Collaborative Remembering: Theories, Research, and Applications Oxford Oxford University Press. pp. 197-215
AuthorsBrown, SD and Reavey, P
EditorsMeade, M, Harris, C, Van Bergen, P, Sutton, J and Barnier, A
Abstract

The emergence of the interdisciplinary field of ‘cultural memory studies’ (cf. Erll, 2012) or more simply ‘memory studies’ (see Brown, 2008) has signaled the sheer diversity of the range of disciplines who take ‘memory’ to be meaningful conceptual and empirical object for themselves. Many of the contributing disciplines are located within the humanities and the social sciences –the recent Ashgate Research Companion to Memory Studies is edited by a philosopher, A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies by literary scholars, and the voluminious Routledge International Handbook of Memory Studies is overseen by sociologists. Interestingly out of the 92 chapters across these books, only 9 are written by psychologists. Whilst psychology feels, from within the discipline, to be the ‘natural home’ for the study of memory, in purely numerical terms there is an enormous amount of research and theorizing going on outside of psychology departments. How ought we to respond to this proliferation of memory-oriented work? One strategy is to clearly delineate the taxonomy of core concepts that define a psychological approach to memory, as Roediger & Wertsch (2008) do in their significant early statement in launch issue of the journal Memory Studies. The desire to formalize in this context just what ‘memory’ is for psychologists (and more importantly what it is not) along with detailing how it can be legitimately studied, is understandable. The forms of reasoning and types of evidence used to make claims about memory across the humanities can seem quite alien to psychologists. They typically involve weighty philosophical speculation coupled with either linguistic data (e.g. archival material, oral history testimony, media reports) or analysis of material artifacts and practices (e.g. museum objects, urban landscapes, monuments). For some psychologists this difference in the construction of arguments and standards of evidence may lead to the conclusion that what is being talked about is unrecognizable as being about ‘memory’ at all.

Page range197-215
Year2017
Book titleCollaborative Remembering: Theories, Research, and Applications
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationOxford
Edition1
ISBN9780198737865
Publication dates
Print07 Dec 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Nov 2017
Accepted15 May 2017
Web address (URL)https://global.oup.com/academic/product/collaborative-remembering-9780198737865?q=9780198737865&lang=en&cc=gb
Accepted author manuscript
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