Collective Memory as Social Representations
The present paper illuminates collective memory as social representations in the context of intractable conflict. First it elaborates on the nature of collective memory as social representations, indicating that all the nations and ethnic groups need to have a narrative that tells the story about the group's past. These social representations tell a story that is functional and relevant to the society's present existence and future aspirations, as well as providing a meaning to social identity. Of special interest is the focus on the role of collective memory in societies involved in intractable conflict, because these social representations are determinative in maintaining and feeding the conflict and often function as a potent obstacle to conflict resolution and peace making process in general. The paper elaborates on the contents and functions of these social representations. Finally it describes the struggle between the social representations of collective memory between the two rivals in intractable conflict which often entertain contradictory and selective historical collective memories of the same past.