Intergenerational transmission of social memory: a narrative review 1

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Cristian Rojas-Granada University of Caldas, Colombia

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Societies employ mechanisms to pass on their knowledge through generations. The intergenerational transmission of social memory has become a relatively recent field, gaining increased interest over the past four decades. This article provides a narrative review of the literature on this topic. Findings reveal that memory transmission is influenced by factors that either facilitate or hinder discussions about the past within the family environment. These factors include silence, emotion, the contingency of daily communication and social-level memory characteristics. While official memory often prevails over family memory, the richness of family narratives lies in their ability to offer unique perspectives that may contradict official accounts. The study concludes that family memories may be at a higher risk of fading into social silence and oblivion. Intergenerational memory thrives when there is a plurality of memories within the broader society, emphasising the importance of diverse perspectives in preserving collective memory.

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Cristian Rojas-Granada University of Caldas, Colombia

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