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Making memory makers: interpellation, norm circles and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust workshops

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journal contribution
posted on 17.03.2017 by John Richardson
This article examines the rationale for ordinary people’s involvement with commemoration. Adopting a critical ethnographic approach, and taking myself and my own interpellation as a symptomatic example, I ask what it is about Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) that calls to people, motivating them to become involved in localised commemorative activities. Since 2005, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) has been responsible for organising and promoting HMD commemoration and, as part of this, they organise free workshops across the UK for people interested in organising an activity to mark HMD. The data I analyse in this article is drawn from two sites: participant observation of three workshops organised by the HMDT (October-November 2015); and interviews with both the organisers and participants of these three same workshops. My analysis demonstrates that the workshop is orientated to answering two modal questions, which participants (implicitly) ask of themselves: should I commemorate HMD, entailing a deontic modality; and can I commemorate HMD, entailing an epistemic modality. I argue that HMD should be regarded as a norm circle which, through its members, possesses a causal power to produce a tendency in others to also commit to endorsing commemoration as a social norm.

Funding

This research was funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Memory Studies

Citation

RICHARDSON, J.E., 2017. Making memory makers: interpellation, norm circles and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust workshops. Memory Studies, doi:10.1177/1750698017720259.

Publisher

SAGE © The Author

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

27/02/2017

Publication date

2017

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Memory Studies and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1750698017720259.

ISSN

1750-6980

eISSN

1750-6999

Language

en

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