Collective Memory as Tool for Intergroup Conflict: The Case of 9/11 Commemoration

Nader H. Hakim, Glenn Adams

Abstract


We apply a cultural psychology approach to collective memory of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In particular, we considered whether practices associated with commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks would promote vigilance (prospective affordance hypothesis) and misattribution of responsibility for the original 9/11 attacks (reconstructive memory hypothesis) in an ostensibly unrelated context of intergroup conflict during September 2015. In Study 1, vigilance toward Iran and misattribution of responsibility for the 9/11 attacks to Iranian sources was greater among participants whom we asked about engagement with 9/11 commemoration than among participants whom we asked about engagement with Labor Day observations. Results of Study 2 suggested that patterns of greater vigilance and misattribution as a function of instructions to recall engagement with 9/11 commemoration were more specifically true only of participants who reported actual engagement with hegemonic commemoration practices. From a cultural psychological perspective, 9/11 commemoration is a case of collective memory not merely because it implicates collective-level (versus personal) identities, but instead because it emphasizes mediation of motivation and action via engagement with commemoration practices and other cultural tools.

Keywords


commemoration; collective memory; 9/11; cultural psychology

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https://doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v5i2.713

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Citations:

  • Ana Figueiredo, Borja Martinovic, Jonas Rees, Laurent Licata (2018)
    Collective memories and present-day intergroup relations: Introduction to the Special Thematic Section
    Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 5(2), p. 694(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v5i2.895



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ISSN: 2195-3325
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