The Importance Of Collective Memory And Cultural Identity

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There are other movements, beside physical body movement, allowed by our brain of which individuals are not conscious, or at least not fully conscious; namely, the action of remembering and forgetting. According to Pierre Nora memory “remains in permanent evolution, open to the dialectic of remembering and forgetting” (8) process which he claims to be “unconscious”. It is given to this dialectic, as Jan Assmann mentions in his essay Collective Memory and Cultural Identity that ““the survival of the type” in the sense of a cultural pseudo-species is a function of the cultural memory…” (126), which means: first, that the identity of a place is not inherited through genes; and second, that it depends on individuals’ conscious effort to maintain it. Individual memory or communicative memory as Assmann calls it “does not extent more than eighty to (at the very most) hundred years…” (127). All of which indicates that our brain will forget memories which are not use; from there society inclination to records. Societies have different ways to maintain the memories that form their identity. Assmann divides them into two groups those of “cultural formation” and those of “institutional communication”, in the former he includes “texts, rites, monuments” and in the latter “recitation, practice, observance” (128). The first educates, the second regulates, and both have the double function of preserving, and to reminding individuals of the past. Nora also attributes to the individuals’

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