The development of collective remembering

Memory. 2008 Apr;16(3):201-12. doi: 10.1080/09658210701806516.


This essay outlines a sociocultural, developmental approach to collective memory. This work is grounded in Halbwachs' (1950/1980) theory of collective memory and in recent prospective studies of collective remembering within families from early childhood through adolescence. The claim is that the basic process of collective remembering is present from the earliest conversations about the past between parents and children, but it is not until adolescence that collective memory is informed by family stories and by history. There are both positive and negative consequences of collective remembering as a function of the nature of the collective. In conclusion, researchers are urged to broaden their view of the collective in their studies of autobiographical and collective memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development / physiology
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Social Behavior