Autobiographical memory functions literature proposes three theoretical functions called self, directive and social. How these functions interact in real life, whether there are additional functions and whether certain memory types fulfill specific functions are important questions awaiting clarification: Our study provides crucial insights to these questions. Particularly, we investigated discriminatory or demeaning memories against social identity. We initially conducted interviews with 9 participants. Findings demonstrated:
Memories propel knowledge-pursuit providing resources for social values, self-clarity and self-defence.
Memories socially circulate:
• Families use memories for directiveness which provides prestige to narrators.
• Memories permeate into narrators’ and listeners’ selves:
They provide psychological support and a sense of being heard.
They provide a sense of redress.
Among same-identity friends sharing supports re-processing and self-consolidation.
Listening to other social groups induces empathy, solidarity and collective agency.
Dominant group interactions instill trust and counteract generalizations.
Memories ensure self-promotion, info, know-how and protection.
These findings contribute to the literature which has an individualistic emphasis and avoids questions on sociological dynamics.
Informed by these findings, we also developed a functions-scale. We administered it to 640 participants in an online survey. Anyone with discrimination or denigration experiences due to gender, religion, ethnicity and disability were included. Our presentation will also display this scale’s factor structure.
Anahtar Kelimeler: autobiographical memory functions, discrimination, social identity