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'Memory is all about claims about the past.' Discuss using appropriate ethnography - Essay Example

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Name Name of Professor Subject Date Ethnography as Memory: Memory as Ethnography In the realm of anthropology, nothing beats the role and significance of ethnography in highlighting cultural differences and in promoting cultural understanding. Much has been written about cultures and a significant chunk about the term “Culture” still remains unexplored…
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Memory is all about claims about the past. Discuss using appropriate ethnography
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"'Memory is all about claims about the past.' Discuss using appropriate ethnography"

Download file to see previous pages However, some focus on the narratives of experiences of people, which constitute one memory of a certain shared experience that can shed some light on how people see a certain phenomenon. In this paper, I shall argue on the role of memory as an indicator of the following: (1) as a narrative of a social practice, (2) as a projection of ideal view of the self and (3) as an embodiment of a certain feeling about an experience. In accordance to the premises mentioned, there is a need to point the issues that come with each of the premises in terms of ethnography as a practice and as experience. At the same time, there is a critical interrogation of how memories are situated across time and how narratives of it become a valuable source of knowledge. These inquiries shall be able to project a view on culture that is engaging, new, and unbiased. Also, this will become an attempt to challenge biases about memories and generalizations attributed to its culture of origin. Memory as a Narrative of Social Practice “No real and complete memory every appears in our dreams as it appears in our waking state. Our dreams are composed of fragments of memory too mutilated and mixed up with other to allow us to recognize them” (Halbwachs 1992, p. 41). ...
In case of cultural and social experiences, the discourse about dreams can be considered stagnant because “the dream is based only upon itself, whereas our recollections depend on those of all our fellows, and on the great frameworks of the memory of society” (Halbwachs 1992, p. 42). This would then be a validation that memory also works on the social level, even if the experiences of the phenomenon for each individual are varied. However, experiences become objects of the past, which have a huge impact on how things turn out or happen in the present. Connerton (1989, p. 2) projects that “experiences of the present very largely depends on our knowledge of the past.” In connection to social memory, the “images of the past commonly legitimate a present social order” (Connerton 1989, p. 2). Following such a condition, one can take into account that memories of the past become stories or narratives that are passed on from generations to generations, which could impart lessons and predicaments for the contemporary society. This assertion can be considered true since “different sets of memories, frequently in the shape of implicit background narratives, will encounter each other, so that, although physically present to one another in a particular setting, the different generations may remain mentally and emotionally insulated, the memories of one generation locked irretrievably, as it were, in the brains and bodies of that generation” (Connerton 1989, p. 3). Thus, there is an intergenerational paradigm working whenever social memories and social experiences are dealt with. This kind of phenomenon can be considered present ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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