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A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

ISSN 1736-7514 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-0922 (print)
Published since 1997

A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

ISSN 1736-7514 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-0922 (print)
Published since 1997

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(Full article in PDF format) DOI: 10.3176/tr.2010.4.02


Elżbieta Hałas


This article presents an outline of the problems of time, history and memory seen from a cultural perspective. Aiming at a revalorization of the cultural dimension in sociocultural phenomena, it particularly highlights the concept of cultural memory. In the cultural perspective, memory is a temporal dimension of meaning. Memory consists in communicative acts transmitting reflexive knowledge about the past from the perspective of the future present. Of significance is the development of a new semantics of memory, which is symbolized by the concept of trauma. Trauma as a cultural process is based on symbolization; this process takes place between the event,which has been traumatogenic for a community, and the establishment of its representation. The analysis of trauma as a cultural phenomenon can be grounded in the outlined concept of cultural memory with such essential dimensions as: communication, reflexivity of the knowledge about the past, axionormativity, affectivity and, last but not least, orientation toward the future. Collective trauma in particular shows the symbolic, emotional and moral dimensions of memory as a cultural phenomenon, the temporality of which is not limited to the past in the present, but also encompasses the future.


cultural memory, history, temporality, time, trauma.


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