Contextualising Autobiographical Remembering: An expanded view of memory

Brown, Steven D. and Reavey, Paula (2017). Contextualising Autobiographical Remembering: An expanded view of memory. In: Mead, Michelle L.; Harris, Celia B.; Van Bergen, Penny; Sutton, John and Barnier, Amanda J. eds. Collaborative Remembering: Theories, Research, and Applications. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 197–215.



Contemporary reformulations of the nature of “the psychological” call out for different approaches to autobiographical memory. If epistemic and methodological differences are set aside, debate can be focused on four key themes—function, accessibility, accuracy, and life story. What persons do with memory needs to be indexed to the interactional contexts where the past is invoked, where the accessibility of autobiographical memories is a collaborative accomplishment. While the accuracy of memory is nearly always at issue, the criterion and procedures through which it is established vary across practices, as do capacities to produce biographical coherency. An “expanded” or “modern” view of memory should seek to analyze brains, voices, objects, and settings together.

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