Making sense of the ‘difficult’ past: transmission of political heritage and memory-work among young people across Europe

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Abstract

This article considers young people’s socialization into mnemonic communities
in 14 European countries. It argues that such socialization is an intersubjective and selective process that, to a great degree, depends on the particular social environment that conditions the discourses on pasts available to young people. Drawing on memory studies, it recognizes memory as a valid alternative to the institutionalized past (history) but envisages the two as inextricably connected. Given this, it identifies several strategies adopted by young people in order to socialize understandings of the past. While these strategies vary, some reveal receptivity to populist and far right ideologies. Our study demonstrates how internalization of political heritage via mnemonic socialization within families is conditioned by both the national political agenda and socio-economic situation experienced across Europe.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-52
Number of pages17
JournalSociological Review
Volume63
Issue numberS2
Early online date30 Jun 2015
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2015

    Keywords

  • young people, history, memory, political heritage, Europe

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