Life Stories of Elders and Their Significant Objects

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The aim of this paper is to show how social memory is built over a long period of time and particularly how old people’s memory and identity are based on significant objects. The paper attempts to delineate old people’s self-perceptions about themselves—of their identity and finally, what it means to be old. In order to do so, some life narratives from a group of old people—men and women—were collected and transformed into life stories. Life stories allow one to understand how memories are built over time, while daily life is lived. Social memory is a concept used to explore the tie between social identity and historical memory—in what family origins, territorial belonging, rituals, beliefs and conducts are concerned. If the materials that support memory are destroyed the paths of “consequent souvenir”—understood as the passage of memories to others—become blocked and one loses the way. In order to remember, memory needs stakeholders as well as places, objects and structures (family and/or communities) it can rely on if it is to make sense.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Systems, Decision and Control
EditorsJosé Luis Sarasola Sánchez-Serrano, Fabrizio Maturo, Šárka Hošková-Mayerová
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-18593-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-18592-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Systems, Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)2198-4182
ISSN (Electronic)2198-4190


  • Elders
  • Identity
  • Memory
  • Objects
  • Social memory


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