Actualization of historical memory in the context of national identity

  • М. В. Школяр Національний університет «Львівська політехніка»
Keywords: historical memory, national identity, memory policy, agents of memory policy, identities, models/ options of historical memory, political nation


The article contains information about historical memory like an element and at the same time a factor in theformation of national identity based common values, norms, beliefs, behavior models, stereotypes and ideas aboutthe historical past. Firstly, we defined the properties of historical memory as a social-cultural phenomenon andits features in modern Ukrainian society. Also, we emphasized the importance of the social context and nationalidentity in the process of the formation of historical memory. For example, social environment influences onthe formation and change of memory of certain historical events and their consequences in the minds of citizen.Secondly, we investigated that the similar perceptions, appraisals and attitudes to the historical process contributethe consolidation of society and facilitate its integration around common identities. In contrast, different andeven opposite interpretations of the historical past constructed in the minds of citizens of different regions ofour country depending on socio-cultured, historical and political background can influence the peculiaritiesof the formation of new identities, as well as they determine vectors of both potential and actual conflicts.Nevertheless, differences in interpretations of history and dominant identity types among residents of differentregions of Ukraine do not make a threat to national integrity, but they can be the basis for ideological and politicalmanipulation from internal and external factors connected with destruction of Ukrainian statehood foundations.Using a secondary analysis of the results of empirical research conducted by leading sociological agencies weinvestigated that fragmentation and multiplicity are the peculiarities of Ukrainian historical memory. Thesepeculiarities are the results of domination of regional identity types in the minds of people. In fact, local featuresof historical memory are related to the history of the region and its socio-cultural characteristics. Also we foundout about the existence of certain differences and contradictions in interpretations of the historical past of Easternand Western residents. Under such circumstances, the historical memory becomes a disintegrating factor and asource of strife because it produces opposited and often incompatible views on the perspectives of the state and thenation. On the one hand, historical memory can enhance the role of national identity in the integration of a nationbased on common interpretation of history. On the other hand, historical memory can contribute the formationmostly of contradictory identity types and increase tendencies towards antagonism updating conflicts betweenmodels / options of historical memory of representatives in different regions of Ukraine. Actually, politicalagents (both domestic and foreign) can make «desirable» representations, evaluations, and interpretations ofhistorical events by means of propaganda, provoking disintegration and destabilization in the country, using thedifference between the models / options of historical memory of the inhabitants in different parts of the country,as well as the essential properties of historical memory (symbolism, irrationality, mythology, etc.). To sum up,there is an essential need in Ukraine for the implementation of a prudent memory policy in order to form anationwide model of historical memory that would be able to contribute the unification of citizens into a singlepolitical nation based on common identities regardless of resident region.


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How to Cite
Школяр, М. (2019). Actualization of historical memory in the context of national identity. Grani, 22(8), 5-13.