Generations & Collective Memory

The term “collective memory” has many meanings, and that variation helps account for its wide appeal, not only across the social sciences but in much other writing as well. In the most general sense, the term refers to how groups, small or large, recall and think about the past. In our Introduction, we consider the range of ways in which the collective memory concept has been employed, and connect it to the equally important concept of generation. Throughout the rest of the book, we develop and examine the varied ideas and research that grew out of our thinking about generations and collective memory, and we hope they will be of interest and value to readers. In part, our book also exemplifies the many different ways in which social scientists can gather evidence to explore and test ideas.