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Rethinking Difficult Pasts: Bloody Sunday (1972) as a Case Study

Conway, Brian (2009) Rethinking Difficult Pasts: Bloody Sunday (1972) as a Case Study. Cultural Sociology, 3 (3). pp. 397-413. ISSN 1749-9755

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Abstract

The sociological literature on collective memory puts forward fragmented and multivocal commemorations as two dominant ways of responding to difficult pasts. This article argues that there is room for improvement in these models by specifying the conditions under which a controversial past can be remembered initially in a fragmented way and, with greater temporal distance from the original event, can evolve into a more consensual form of commemoration in which the past is seized upon as a resource to advance the politics of reconciliation between two opposing identity groups in an unsettled society. An evolving political climate, active memory choreography, and the usability of the past in the present all help account for this. The empirical evidence to support this theoretical claim comes from a long-range, historical study of the case of Bloody Sunday (1972).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Preprint version of original published article in Cultural Sociology; DOI: 10.1177/1749975509105539
Keywords: Memory; Northern Ireland; memorials; Bloody Sunday; commemoration; controlled consensus; social movement organizations;
Subjects: Social Sciences > Sociology
Item ID: 2874
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1177/1749975509105539
Depositing User: Brian Conway
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2011 16:22
Journal or Publication Title: Cultural Sociology
Publisher: Sage
Refereed: No
URI:

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