espartas-vietnamfinal - Spartas 1 Collective Memory and...

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Spartas 1 Collective Memory and Vietnam War Films Memories never truly appear as they occurred. Even if captured by film they morph. It does not matter what these memories are of- or whether their significance is merely personal or if it applies to the entire planet, they always change over time. Memory and history is shaped. This is the concept known as collective memory. It presents the idea that memory has eight different components that serve to create the memory that exists in today’s world (whenever today happens to be). One way of exploring collective memory is by viewing films. In this case we will be exploring the way the Vietnam War films Dear America, Born on the Fourth of July, and The Green Berets illustrate and use collective memory as a tool to convey their messages. The films contain a variety of different opinions, however in the end they all leave the soldiers of the Vietnam War cast in a fairly positive light, despite the negative experiences they might have gone through and the unfortunate actions they may have had to take. Collective memory consists of the idea that the public, certain groups, or even individuals combine several elements to construct a memory of an event. It is all about shaping memory and history. Although history is generally considered a factual and unbiased entity there are several factors relating to collective memory that have a great affect on it. It is a tool that can be used often and very easily. Much of the time people may not even realize that it is being used or that it is having an affect on them. In regard to history collect memory is always present. The way history is told varies depending on the way the collective memory shapes the event. In addition collective memory itself can be
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Spartas 2 the cause of different reactions to events that occur. It is an important part of history as it has an affect on each and every human being, no matter where it is one resides. There are eight different components of collective memory. First, collective memory is ongoing; it is constantly changing as time goes on- as history itself changes. Second, it is not necessarily logical and rational. The concept of collective memory does not need to follow a linear path, rather the parts of it that are convenient are used, and transitions are not always necessary. Third, collective memory is related to issues of time. Things can easily changeover time, and these changes can have a drastic affect on the memory of an event. Fourth, collective memory is related to space. The memory of something changes depending where one is. For instance the collective memory of the Vietnam War might be very different in Vietnam than in America. Fifth, it is not always complete, rather collective memory is partial- using only the elements that are important at the time. Sixth, collective memory is usable. It can have or create social consequences, and many people use that to their advantage. Collective memory is one of the most often used tools.
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2011 for the course EDU 300 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '09 term at BYU.

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espartas-vietnamfinal - Spartas 1 Collective Memory and...

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