Nostalgia as social phenomena

Nostalgia is the recollection of willed reliving of the past. For persons my age, that involves Transformers, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Happy Meals for £2, Catholicism, looking up to the heroes in my life and a general sense of wonder and innocence about the world.

Nostalgia is interesting insofar as we nostalge about the same things. Today I shared nostalgia about the Transformers series, my older sibling celebrates this, as do friends. It was a ‘you had to be there’ sort of thing.

The notion of memory is interesting in society.

Memory is sentimentalised – nostalgia

Memory is rationalised – computers

Memory is immortalised – surveillance

Let us not think of memories as our own personal memories, but in sociological terms, the notion of ‘memory’ itself, a computerised record, a name in a book, one’s first kiss, amnesia, the willing re-writing of history, the impossibility of re-interpretation.

Memory is an interesting, yet very weird thing in society and daily life. I think it also has impact on political economy.

Michael

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