Beyond individual/ collective memory: Women's transactive memories of food, family and conflict

Graham Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A key question in oral history involves the status of individual memories and how these relate to the social historical construction and narration of shared memories. While agreeing broadly with concerns about the dangers of accepting uncritically that individual memories are framed by collective discourses about the past, it is argued that there are other ways of examining individual and 'collective' memories without drawing upon overly simplistic cultural historical explanations. Similarly, a rejection of 'collective' memory need not mean reducing remembering to a study of individual consciousness or unconsciousness. Instead the concept of transactive remembering is applied to an analysis of video recorded group meetings. In doing so it is argued that an alternative way of understanding the complex social processes involved in remembering can be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-90
JournalOral History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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