Nostalgia, Immigration, and Collective Memory
Guglielmo Bellelli Mirella A. C. Amatulli University of Bari, Italy
Kleiner ( 1977) defined nostalgia as "the desire to come back to an idealized past" (p. 11), wherein individuals attain their freedom from conflict. Although the term employed to designate it is quite recent, nostalgia is a diffuse feeling, which has been extensively described in both mythology and literature. After presenting a brief review of some of the main sociological and psychological studies on this topic, our aim is to consider nostalgia related to migratory phenomena, to which it is strictly linked,1 and to demonstrate how it is also linked to what Halbwachs ( 1950) defined as collective memory. Collective memory is more than a mere collection of factual shared memories: In fact, its collective nature derives from the sharing of the meaning and interpretations generations give to recalled specific events2 more than from the mere sharing of them. Finally, we show how nostalgia has been analyzed more frequently at an individual and intrapersonal level, and how its social functions have been neglected.____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Collective Memory of Political Events:Social Psychological Perspectives. Contributors: James W. Pennebaker - Editor, Dario Paez - Editor, Bernard Rimé - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 209.