London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

History as identity construction and fostering of 'memory' preservation

Author(s) Glória Solé, M. & Luísa Freitas, M.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2008  
Editor A. Ross & P. Cunningham, Reflecting on Identities: Research, Practice and Innovation  
Age group -  
This paper presents data from a study carried out with primary school students in Portugal. We investigated the relationships between history, the past, and personal, family and collective memory using semi-structured interviews. Several questions were asked: in this paper the questions directly related are analysed: ‘What is history?’, ‘What is the past for you?’, ‘With who and how do you learn about the past?’. The results suggest that conceptions about the past and history are extremely diverse. History has many meanings, and emerged as a multi-faceted and ambiguous concept. The importance of history for the preservation of memory (personal and national) and as an affirmation of individual and collective identity was also recognised.

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