9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS07 Memory, Culture and Public Discourse

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Displacement, Diaspora, and Cultural Disjuncture Building I, 1E6

Russian Diaspora in Central Europe: Collective Memory and Identities

This paper aims to investigate an important cultural transformation in maintenance of collective memory in Russia.
Collective memory forms the basis of any collective identity such as ethnic identity, and national identity. I use a concept of distributed version collective memory due to Wertsch (2002), who writes: " The distributed version of collective memory assumes that a representation of the past is distributed among members of a collective". This concept entails that "collective remembering is a form of mediated actions, which entails the involvement of active agents and cultural tools".
As empirical case I study the Russian diaspora in Central Europe, where I conducted interview-in-depth with representatives of different generations of diaspora, including first one, and at the same time I use content analysis and critical discourse analysis, participant observation.
Since the Iron Curtain fall, Russian collective memory started to incorporate material that has been produced by the four waves of Russian 20th century migration - especially by the 1st, post-October 1917 wave. (For example, secondary school curriculum now includes works of major diaspora writers.) However, it is clear that the final re-creation and merging of the cultural memory hasn't happened yet.