I need some assistance with these assignment. political socialization: collective memories of african american culture Thank you in advance for the help! Digging into the definition of “collective memory” it is evident that past experiences of an individual in society influence the experiences of others in the same society and elsewhere. Collective memory is defined as the shared memory that can be passed on and also constructed by the group or modern society. (Esquith, 1996, P. 78)
The definition further predisposes that its the memory that a community possesses of its own history, lessons, and learning it consciously. The tendency of bringing the entire institutional fabric which is created during such periods (when such memory occurs) impacts negatively on the role of collective memory. It does not play a crucial role in the processes of political change. It leaves a mark on the daily political practices once the new regime becomes established. Collective memory leaves traces of the past memory in the political learning systems but to some extent this is unavoidable. (Fabre, 1994, P.29)
Most of the studies under this topic focus on the effects of trauma that are produced by the memory of those bad times, the war for example. Most of the scholars indicate that the war left an indelible mark on the nation. This could or can affect and undermine the peaceful nature of the society at critical moments. Collective memory instills lessons in the individuals’ life and when it comes to political learning, chances are that political change may be effective. Political learning is the process through which people modify their political beliefs and tactics as a result of severe crises, frustrations, and dramatic changes in the environment. (Fabre, 1994, P. 33)
This phenomenon is based on the fact that beliefs are not fixed immutably in childhood and that they are affected by political events. Political learning represents a process of cognitive change which is key to democratic reconstruction. In the African American culture has a history of struggle. African Americans struggled to succeed and are free, equal, and affirmed. These experiences have impacted positively in some aspects. Most of them have a positive sense of racial identity and spiritual strength because, during the slavery period, the spirit was vital for survival. It was in the open that color was a major determinant of who would be a slave and who would be free. (Walton, 1997, P. 132)
The spiritual strength of the African – American was also derived from the physical and psychological struggles of slavery. They value self-love and love for others as methods through which people can enhance their personal lives. Through enhancing the lives of people, the political change would be evident. Despite the experiences that they had gone through, they still had a great sense of accommodating the change. (Walton, 1997, P. 34)
Collective memory comes about through collective attitudes and behaviors. These are created and shared through common experiences and communication among a group of people. In the case of the African American, the slavery attitudes and experiences were eminent. The use of collective memory as a political socialization agent was a good target to the bringing of new knowledge to the people through political learning. It had a role of changing perceptions and attitudes of a group of people who had been exposed to a hard kind of life. This tool captures the interests of researchers and scholars in social, psychological memory, sociology, and anthropology. .
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