Narrative Construction Of Generational Experience In Latvian Life Stories


Biographies demonstrate a variety of trajectories, resources and opportunities, choices and acting strategies. It may be reflected through life stories, which are studied like personal experience narratives developed along the master scripts and collective memory. However, in some approaches the notion of generation is utilized to describe the social dimension of life stories (see Passerini 1996). Generally generation refers to an age-defined subgroup, where individuals are exposed to and shaped by similar historical events and experiences (Mannheim 1927), which in turn generate a ‘community of perception’ (Olick 1999). In this way, it provides a space where memory and identity, change and transformation are problematized and performed (Assmann and Shortt 2012). In my paper I focus on interplay between memory and formation of generational experience. Historic shifts, wars and changes in value systems left deep impact on people’s biographies especially in Eastern Europe and the Baltics (Aarelaid-Tart and Bennich-Björkman 2012). What kind of historic generations can scholars locate studying biographies and narratives there? We are aware of similarities and diversity in terms of history and nation-making within the space once covered by Soviet power. Therefore, there must be particular factors used for different contexts to recognize relevant generations. Historic turning points have driven dynamics into the formation of generations and open a question about subtle generational consciousness. I will use biographic interviews from Oral history archive in Latvia to elaborate generational model and compare it with similar approaches from Estonia (Kirss, Kõresaar, and Lauristin 2004; Jõesalu 2016). [E.Šūpulis]

Aug 20, 2019 — Aug 23, 2019
Mančestra (Apvienotā Karaliste)

Rīkotāji - Eiropas Sociologu asociācija