Thinking through time: From collective memories to collective futures
London: Palgrave Macmillan
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Imagining collective futures. Perspectives from social, cultural and political psychology.
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In this chapter I look at the links between collective memory and the imagination of collective futures. Drawing on works on imagination and autobiographical memory, I first discuss the role of past experiences in imagining the future. I then explore the consequences of such a perspective for collective memories and collective futures, which will lead me to argue that the former provides the basis for the latter. Three case studies are presented, each illustrating a different type of relation between collective memory and collective imagination: 1) collective memory as a frame of reference to imagine the future; 2) collective memory as a source of experiences and examples to imagine what is likely, possible or desirable; and 3) collective memory as generalisable experience from which representations of the world – Personal World Philosophies – are constructed and in turn used to imagine the collective future. This will lead me to the conclusion that representations of the world are characterised by “temporal heteroglossia”, the simultaneous presence of multiple periods of time, and that they mediate the relation between collective memory and collective imagination, allowing us to “think through time”.
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