The Collective Memory

What is the collective Memory?

Collective memory defines a social group’s identity, which serves to create a community. This community can be small, large, and even imaginary. The collective memory is a means to perceive the event based on past experiences set by society.

Emile Durkheim, even though he did not use this term he was the first to make reference to it.  He describes this phenomenon as a connection to the past to preserve social unity. These connections can be set by the community’s values, norms, religions and shared experiences.

maurice-halbwachs(Maurice Halbwachs)

Maurice Halbwachs a student of Durkheim was the first to use the term ‘Collective memory’. He states that individual memories are constructed within social structures. Therefore one’s memories can have a different perspective if they were put in different communities.

Moreover Pierre Nora states that communities are controlled by those in power, be it evident or not, making Collective Memory a tool and an object of power which can be used to control and manipulate the social group.


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