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Remediating Viking origins: genetic code as archival memory of the remote past

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journal contribution
posted on 20.11.2015, 14:14 by Marc Scully, Turi King, Steven D. Brown
This article introduces some early data from the Leverhulme Trust-funded research programme, ‘The Impact of the Diasporas on the Making of Britain: evidence, memories, inventions’. One of the interdisciplinary foci of the programme, which incorporates insights from genetics, history, archaeology, linguistics and social psychology, is to investigate how genetic evidence of ancestry is incorporated into identity narratives. In particular, we investigate how ‘applied genetic history’ shapes individual and familial narratives, which are then situated within macro-narratives of the nation and collective memories of immigration and indigenism. It is argued that the construction of genetic evidence as a ‘gold standard’ about ‘where you really come from’ involves a remediation of cultural and archival memory, in the construction of a ‘usable past’. This article is based on initial questionnaire data from a preliminary study of those attending DNA collection sessions in northern England. It presents some early indicators of the perceived importance of being of Viking descent among participants, notes some emerging patterns and considers the implications for contemporary debates on migration, belonging and local and national identity.

Funding

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Leverhulme Trust under Programme Grant F/00 212/AM.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

SOCIOLOGY-THE JOURNAL OF THE BRITISH SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

Volume

47

Issue

5

Pages

921 - 938 (18)

Citation

SCULLY, M.D., KING, T. and BROWN, S.D., 2013. Remediating Viking origins: genetic code as archival memory of the remote past. Sociology, 47 (5), pp. 921 - 938.

Publisher

Sage Publications / © The Author(s)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Publication date

2013

Notes

This is an Open Access article published by Sage and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/)

ISSN

0038-0385

Language

en

Exports