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Home / Issues / № 2, 2014

Social Memory of Intelligentsia: the Problems of Preserving

                One of the most actual problems of historical science is to develop methodological approaches to the study of social groups, including intelligentsia. Nowadays there is a number of approaches to the definition of this term. One of the most acceptable is to consider intelligentsia as a socio-cultural community, the representatives of which possess high educational level and creative attitude towards professional and cultural activities, aiming at producing and preserving the achievements of culture and human values and having special psychological features and positive moral-ethic qualities. A great contribution to the development of theoretical problems of forming and life activities of intelligentsia was made by such scientists as V.S. Memetov, V.S. Volcov, M.E. Glavatsky, A.V. Kvakyn and others.

                Intelligentsia is a living social organism, which on each new historical step goes through 5 important stages: Genesis, Forming, Growing, Development and Activity. This process includes selection of the most essential features of the intelligentsia of previous epochs and their transfer through traditional forms and methods of life activities to the newly forming generation of intellectuals.

                I suppose that an important role in the process of selecting and transferring of intelligentsia belongs to Social Memory.  According to the opinion of M. Halbraks, Social Memory is one  of the most important elements of consolidating of the nation, forming of patriotism and citizenship and also of self-identification of  social or any other group.

                In the West French scientists, who created the so-called school “Annals”, began the research of Social Memory in 1960. Concrete works, devoted to this problem, began in our country in 1980–1990 s. nowadays the scientists studying intellectual  history actively work in this direction. They are L.P. Repina, S.N. Ivannikova, I.M. Savelyeva, M.V. Sokolov, G.T. Noshenko and others.

                Social Memory is understood as emotional and visual-sensual images and ideas of the society and its separate individuals about their past Social Memory is “Linking Thread” between generations, the foundation of self-identification of the personality and concrete society, the basis for forming moral qualities of young generations of citizens.

                It is important for us that M. Halbraks, who was one of the first to study group memory, distinguishes 2 types of memory, habitual to the person: individual and collective.  According to his opinion, these two types of memory are connected with each other, bun they are not mixed.

                The ideas of modern intelligents are filled with reminiscences about outstanding thinkers, the people of intellectual professions, famous personalities, who devoted their lives to the serving to the people. This impersonal collective memory of intelligentsia becomes the basis for forming its essential features.

                Individual reminiscences which can penetrate into collective memory should be also taken into consideration. But in order to restore in memory his own past, the person often has to address to somebody else’s reminiscences. 

                Social Memory is a valuable support of intelligentsia self-consciousness, the source of its self-estimation, self-respect, values and ideals, defining intelligentsia power, ins ability to overcome the trials therefore creates conditions for further  development past affects the present and creates vector for future development.

                In the process of intelligentsias shaping Social Memory fulfils a number of functions: Identification, In culturing, Communicating, Socialization and others.

                The development of the mechanism of preserving social memory has scientific and practical importance. I suppose that the main way of Social Memory Constructing in the present time is deliberate activity of spreading and rooting of historical knowledge of socially important character in the consciousness of youth.

                An important role in keeping of Social Memory belongs to higher education workers. Here the condition of efficiency of the process of preserving objective memory, is not distorted by the ideological of the past is a purposeful activity of scientific-pedagogical intelligentsia, because exactly in the process of education the students get a set of information which provides the conformity of his individual reminiscences to the type of  Social Memory which corresponds to his social group. I agree with modern Russian explorer D.A. Annin in “modern Russian society, going through the consequences of the crisis of Social Memory, educational practices accept the function of constructing of historical identity of Russian stratum by unifying odd places of memory, sending back to the Empire and the Soviet past of Russian Federation”.       

                So, sharp acceleration of transformations, changing of socialization mechanisms and uniting of the personality to social values in modern Russian society make actual the problem of relations of the person and the social group he belongs to with his past.

                Nothing in the modern word becomes obsolete so quickly as knowledge, that is why the gap which is created between private experience of the person and social memory of previous generations causes to grasp the meaning of the past in a new way, to find new strategies of its keeping and mastering, in other words to preserve in modern intelligentsia the features traditionally habitual to it.      

Bibliographic reference

BUDNIK G.A. Social Memory of Intelligentsia: the Problems of Preserving. International Journal Of Applied And Fundamental Research. – 2014. – № 2 –
URL: www.science-sd.com/457-24568 (23.02.2024).