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      The Naturalized Nation: Anchoring, Objectification and Naturalized Social Representations of History


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          This study focuses on the connection between social representations of history and collective memory from the perspective of elementary concepts of social representations theory: anchoring, objectification and naturalization. The aims of the study are to arrive at a conceptual clarity of this connection and demonstrate how to apply basic concepts of social representations theory to the study of collective memory. The study also focuses on the naturalized characteristics of Finnish history. The data consist of the covers of twenty Finnish history books between the years 1965 and 2014. All the covers are embellished with typography or visual images. The covers were analysed using a semiotic approach in which the interest is in the description (denotation), the associations (connotation) and the meaning system these construe (myth). The analysis shows how national history is concretized with visual images (objectification), how the meaning of representation is conveyed (anchoring) and how collective memory is maintained (naturalization), transmitted and shaped during the years. The results show how the stable collective memories and changing social representations of history are interacting. The most frequently used visual element was the colour blue, which alludes to the Finnish flag, a symbol of the nation that represents the core of Finnish history. The study suggests that it is possible to conceptualize collective memories as naturalized social representations of history. It shows how processes of anchoring and objectification serve as tools of collective memory and how the naturalized conceptions are subtly changed. In addition, the study develops the use of visual semiotic analysis in social representations research.

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          How the past weighs on the present: social representations of history and their role in identity politics.

          Socially shared representations of history have been important in creating, maintaining and changing a people's identity. Their management and negotiation are central to interethnic and international relations. We present a narrative framework to represent how collectively significant events become (selectively) incorporated in social representations that enable positioning of ethnic, national and supranational identities. This perspective creates diachronic (temporal) links between the functional (e.g. realistic conflict theory), social identity, and cognitive perspectives on intergroup relations. The charters embedded in these representations condition nations with similar interests to adopt different political stances in dealing with current events, and can influence the perceived stability and legitimacy of social orders. They are also instrumental in determining social identity strategies for reacting to negative social comparisons, and can influence the relationships between national and ethnic identities.
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            Towards a Paradigm for Research on Social Representations

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              Emotional anchoring and objectification in the media reporting on climate change.

              Using the framework of social representations theory--more precisely the concepts of anchoring and objectification--this article analyses the emotions on which the media reporting on climate change draws. Emotions are thereby regarded as discursive phenomena. A qualitative analysis of two series in Swedish media on climate change, one in a tabloid newspaper and one in public service television news, is presented showing how the verbal and visual representations are attached to emotions of fear, hope, guilt, compassion and nostalgia. It is further argued that emotional representations of climate change may on the one hand enhance public engagement in the issue, but on the other hand may draw attention away from climate change as the abstract, long-term phenomenon of a statistical character that it is.

                Author and article information

                J Soc Polit Psych
                Journal of Social and Political Psychology
                J. Soc. Polit. Psych.
                19 December 2016
                : 4
                : 2
                : 646-669
                [a ]Department of Social Research, Social Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
                [2]Jacobs University Bremen, Bremen, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ]Department of Social Research, Social Psychology, Unioninkatu 37, P.O. box 54, 00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. eemeli.hakokongas@ 123456helsinki.fi
                Copyright @ 2016

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 01 June 2016
                : 18 November 2016
                Original Research Reports

                objectification,naturalization,collective memory,social representations,anchoring,visual analysis


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