The modalities of nostalgia

2015-06-26T12:27:16Z (GMT) by Michael Pickering Emily Keightley
Nostalgia has been viewed as the conceptual opposite of progress, against which it is negatively viewed as reactionary, sentimental or melancholic. It has been seen as a defeatist retreat from the present, and evidence of loss of faith in the future. Nostalgia is certainly a response to the experience of loss endemic in modernity and late modernity, but the authors argue that it has numerous manifestations and cannot be reduced to a singular or absolute definition. Its meaning and significance are multiple, and so should be seen as accommodating progressive, even utopian impulses as well as regressive stances and melancholic attitudes. Its contrarieties are evident in both vernacular and media forms of remembering and historical reconstruction. The authors argue that these contrarieties should be viewed as mutually constitutive, for it is in their interrelations that there arises the potential for sociological critique.