Transformation of the Memory and Symbolism of Local Space in the Process of European Integration
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Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
Publication date: 2017-06-20
Polish Sociological Review 2017;198(2):127–140
European integration impacts the perception and symbolism of space, and the resultant transformation seems to be linked to changes in memory. Both of these factors belong to the deep, although not always conscious effects of integration. Memory is rarely stable. The biographical events in an individual’s life, along with changes in the meaning of the broad European space, affect the symbolism of a local space as developed in both individual and collective memory. This also transforms the memory and symbolism of even the most intimate experience of a local space—and again, this takes place both in the memory of individuals and in the collective memory of local communities. Its form greatly depends on the variety of agents involved in public discourse, such as the media and the arguments made by political and religious leaders. One of the factors involved is the change in social and cultural perspective created by the expanded area of easily accessible space, which in today’s EU includes countries once separated by physically experienced borders. In the article I will attempt to identify and describe the mechanisms involved in transforming the symbolism of local space. One of the issues addressed will be the confrontation between advancing cosmopolitanism and the rise of attachment to localities.