What informs the process of remembering and forgetting? Is it merely about our capability to store and retrieve experiences in a purely functional sense? What about 'collective memories', not just those of the individual - how do these manifest themselves in the passages of time? The authors present a new, fascinating insight into the social psychology of experience drawing upon a number of classic works (particularly by Frederick Bartlett, Maurice Halbwachs & Henri Bergson) to help develop their argument. The significance of their ideas for developing a contemporary psychology of experience is illustrated with material from studies focused on settings at home and at work, in public and commercial organizations where remembering and forgetting are matters of concern, involving language and text based communication, objects and place. As their argument unfolds, the authors reveal that memories do not solely reside in a linear passage of time, linking past, present and future, nor do they solely rest within the indidvidual's conciousness, but that memory sits at the very heart of 'lived experience'; whether collective or individual, the vehicle for how we remember or forget is linked to social interaction, object interaction and the different durations of living that we all have. It is very much connected to the social psychology of experience. This book is written for advanced undergraduate, masters and doctoral students in social psychology. However, it will also be of particular value on courses that deal with conceptual and historical issues in psychology (in cognate disciplines as well) and supplmentary reading in cognitive science.
Chapter Two: Making Experience Matter: Memory in the Social Sciences
Making Experience Matter: Memory in the Social Sciences
Our concern in this book is to examine how we can approach the social psychology of experience in the study of the remembering and forgetting. This will involve approaching remembering and forgetting as public, social activities where individual experience is necessarily mediated by collective experience. Now we are by no means the first to have envisaged a social turn in the psychological study of memory. There have been numerous contributions by sociocultural researchers, such as Brockmeier (2002); Bruner and Feldman (1996); Cole (1996); Hirst and Manier (1996); and Wertsch (2002), along with ecologically orientated psychology, notably Neisser (1982), Neisser and Winograd (1988), Barclay (1994); social psychology such as Bangerter (2000, ...