Remembrance as Embodiment in Contemporary Polish Memories
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University of Strasbourg
Publication date: 2013-09-24
Polish Sociological Review 2013;183(3):389-402
This article aims to draw attention to the importance of the body in the shaping of personal, family and national memories, and in the process of giving meaning to history and making it understandable, even in its contradictions. Through an ethnographic research carried out in Poland, the paper focus mainly on the construction of family resemblances as an embodied experience of the past, and an entry point for studies on collective and personal memories. Three points will be discussed. First, the relationship between body and memory occurs in the tension between history and heredity, the latter covering both social and biological transmissions. A second nexus between corporeality and memory in family narratives is constructed on a “gendered” and “ethnicized” image of the individual and the social body. Third, memory has been considered as a technique of the body involving senses and practical skills. The concept of embodiment then contributes to a more dynamic, performative and inter-subjective understanding of memory.
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