Basic and Applied Memory Research: Practical Applications - Vol. 2

By Douglas J. Herrmann; Cathy McEvoy et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINETEEN Conversational Remembering

David Manier

Elizabeth Pinner

William Hirst

New School for Social Research

Surprisingly, although remembering frequently occurs in spontaneous conversations ( Miller, Potts, Fung, Hoogstra, & Mintz, 1990), conversational remembering has only recently become the focus of intensive psychological investigation. Fivush, Haden, and Reese ( 1994) studied how the conversational strategies of parents facilitate the development of their children's narrative skills. Middleton ( 1994) explored how conversational devices push any act of remembering in specific directions, leaving some past events unrecalled while increasing the availability of others. We have concentrated on two distinct, but related aspects of conversational remembering: (a) the way in which the social dynamics of a conversation structure remembering within a conversation, and (b) the effect of an act of conversational remembering on subsequent acts of remembering.


SOCIAL DYNAMICS AND CONVERSATIONAL REMEMBERING: FAMILY REMEMBERING AS A CASE STUDY

One group in which discussions about the past figure prominently is the family. Families gather together around dinner tables at the end of the day and converse about the day's events; they converge on holidays and jointly assess the year gone by; at funeral ceremonies, they share their recollections of departed relatives. As a reasonable approximation to such everyday joint

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