2022-09Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/25230
Exploring the role of context models in memory-building: the completion of informative voids and the re-organisation of narratives in second-hand memories
The transmission of memory after traumatic collective events (such as armed conflicts) always involves a discursive re-construction from a present viewpoint. In the case of new generations who have no direct memories of the conflict, a variety of contextual factors can interfere in the process of meaning-making. In this paper, we explore some of the discursive strategies employed by youngsters in order to fill in informational voids or to manage discourses that seem contradictory with their current context or pre-established belief systems when re-building narratives about violent conflicts in their community. Oral data collected from eight in-depth interviews with adolescents belonging to the first post-conflict generation in the Basque Country was analysed, combining theories from Memory Studies and theoretical-methodological approaches from Critical Discourse Analysis. Four types of rearrangement of information were identified during the interviews: all speakers drew on contextual information and pre-established mental models in order to fill in informational gaps, even if the resulting narratives sometimes altered the original meaning. Evidence suggests that remembering is a discursive practice strongly influenced by the current context and situation of the speaker, which would offer an explanation as to why collective memory changes with each generation.
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