Cultural memory has been a concept for already 30 years. But what is social memory? The topics of memory, remembering and forgetting are meeting with increasing resonance in sociology. This introduction to the sociology of memory is the first to systematically develop some of the basic theories in this field and to provide an overview of the issues and problems involved.
The book offers a fundamental view on the problem of forgetting in sociology in general and within sociology of knowledge. Furthermore it focuses – as a case study – on the field of modern science. With recourse to the term ‚oblivionism‘, originally introduced with ironic-critical intent by the german romance scholar Harald Weinrich, it analyzes the fundamental and multifaceted problem of the loss of knowledge in the field of science.
A declarative-reflective, an incorporated-practical and an objectified-technical memory motif is at the centre. These form the basis for the development of the three forms of forgetting that are also central to modern science: forgetfulness, wanting to forget and, ultimately, making one forget.