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Why do we study memory?

Memory connects us to a sense of history, continuity.
“Memory forges the chain of tradition that passes events on from generation to generation” – Walter Benjamin. Passes memory of experience from generation to generation
Memory is a connection to our sense of identity
“memory is a central, if not the central, medium through which identities are constituted” Olick and Robbins
Memory is produced through discourse (miszal 2003)
furthermore, those who control the discourse, can dicate what memories survive and which don’t” All goes back to Foucault, for foucault memory is a site of struggle and a “discursive tool.”
“Where Memory is concerned, the personal is political”- Susanna Radston 2008
Individual or Collective 
Maurice Halbwachs On Collective Memory 1925
Memory is collectives much as it is individual.
What is worth remebering is defied by the social group.
Our personal memories cannot be untangled from our social context within a group
He was primarily interested in the family but thought memory also operated on a societal level.
Memory is not static, it is a process. Memories are always being reconstructed revised based on the present context.
Pierre Nora 1998
Groups are able to create collective memories by focusing on particular dates, people, places and objects and ignoring others.
“These are technologies of memory, not vessels of memory in which memory passively resides.”
Rosy Retrospection
“Tendency to remember and recollect events more fondly and positivity than they were at the time of the experience” -Neese 2016
Rosy mechanisms may help to explain why people often seem to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Rosy Retrospection “may suggest some reason or circumstanced where people learn less from experience than they could or should. Constantly rewriting the past in a favourable light may mean we don’t adjust to the demands of the future.”
Nostalgia and historicism
Politics– “Take us back to a better time” “We want our country back”
-Good old days
Historicalism is “the random cannibalisation of all the styles of the past, the play of random stylistic allusion.”
The past has “become a vast collection of images, a multitudinous photographic simulacrum”
We are obsessed with the past in more extreme ways than before. To such an extent that representations often have a correctional impulse.
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