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Collective Memory of the 20th Century Russia and Values of Different Generational Groups

Journal: Russian Psychological Journal (Vol.15, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 190-208

Keywords : collective memory; group memories; representations of past; value guidelines; representations of Russia; social groups; generational sensitivity; intergenerational differences; socialization; constructionism;

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Introduction. It is important to consider collective memory from the social constructionism prospective. The present study of collective memory is aimed at identifying the event series that constructs historic memories and determines what is more important to different generational groups of modern society. This paper is the first study on prevailing values in each generational group that characterizes the content of collective memories of the 20th century Russia. Methods. The study employed quantitative and qualitative methods including (a) associative methods, (b) the Schwartz Value Survey, and (c) the questionnaire for comparing Russia of the 20th century and the ‘ideal' Russia. The study sample consisted of 90 respondents of various ages from different regions of Russia. Results. This section describes the content of group memories about Russia of the 20th century, the specific prevailing group values, and the results of comparing Russia of the 20th century with the ‘ideal' Russia in three age groups. After analyzing the content of participants' memories, the authors conclude that various events constitute the content of group memories, reflecting the group specific generational character. In participants' representations Russia appeared to be both a far from an ideal country and a highly appreciated one. The study revealed that each generational group had its own structure of values. Discussion. The analysis showed that the content of memories about Russia of the 20th century reflected the specific character of relation to the past in the studied groups. The results confirmed the hypothesis about specific group characteristics guiding construction of collective memories of a historical period. This allowed the authors to define collective memory as an essential feature of a social group. The study describes the phenomenon of ‘generational sensitivity' that manifests itself as hypersensitivity (impressionability) toward past and current events in representatives of different social generational groups.

Last modified: 2019-10-09 01:55:11