The humanities and social science

2022 Issue №3

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The concept of “memory wars” in contemporary studies of collective memory



The article analyses how the terms “memory wars” / “memorial wars” are applied in the contemporary research papers on conflicts of collective perceptions of the past. The author shows that in the late 1990s and early 2000s the concept was not yet associated exclusively with the political sphere, within which different social groups were producing historical narratives, but in the 2000s and 2010s modern understanding of the phrase “memory wars” was already established and since then it has become common in contemporary studies of collective memory to reveal its conflicting nature. It is noted that in the studies of clashes of historical narratives an active attention is paid to the content of the processes under the study, against which the attempts to give a strict definition to the term “memory wars” are noticeably rarer. The use of the “memory wars” concept shows that it has not yet received proper understanding as an element of categorical apparatus of memory studies and the issue of its relevance to the objectives of the contemporary research deserves special attention.