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6. Symbiotics of History and Social Psychology Understanding Social Representations of History in Europe

Symbiotics of History and Social Psychology Understanding Social Representations of History in Europe
Pages 36-40
S. Azzopardi, E. Buttigieg, L. Licata

Abstract:

COST Action IS1205 aims at advancing knowledge and promoting networking among historians and social psychologists to analyse the role played by social representations of history in Europe. Social representations of history are central to the identity of groups that may or may not form the majority in any given country. In Europe, these representations are at best diverse, at worst fragmented, among various national and ethnic groups, either in the same country or across the continent. If left unexplored and unexplained, these social (mis)representations can incite adverse emotions, in turn influencing group behaviours and possibly leading to intergroup rivalry. Bridging the two disciplines through representatives from 28 countries, Action IS1205 addresses this issue by coordinating research on the role of: social cognitive processes in shaping lay representations of history; lay representation of history through the concepts of nationhood and identities; social-psychological studies of the narrative transmission of history through textbooks and the media; lay representation of history and group-based emotions in shaping attitudes, intergroup conflict and reconciliation processes.

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