The Social Psychology of Experience: Studies in Remembering and Forgetting

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SAGE, May 20, 2005 - Psychology - 252 pages
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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.


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Introducing remembering and forgetting in the social psychology of experience
Making experience matter memory in the social sciences
Territorialising experience Maurice Halbwachs on memory
Virtualising experience Henri Bergson on memory
Communicating experience interactional organisation of remembering and forgetting
Projecting experience succession and change in communicative action
Localising experience implacement incorporation and habit in zones of personal relations
Objectifying experience mediating displacing and stabilising the past in objects
Technologising experience infrastructures in remembering and forgetting
Collecting and dispersing experience spatialising the individual in the mass
Cutting experience intersecting durations in making lives matter
Unlimiting experience dynamics of remembering and forgetting

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About the author (2005)

David Middleton is the author of several books including The Nature of America, which featured an introduction by Charles Kuralt. He conducts outdoor photography workshops across the country. He lives in Danby, Vermont.

Steven Brown is Fellow at the Institute for Biomusicology at Mid Sweden University, Ostersund.

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