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Cultural and social memory

Migration A–Z


  1. Andreas Kitzmann

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm156

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Kitzmann, A. 2013. Cultural and social memory. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


The act of telling stories of the past is central to the experience of immigration and migration. Tales and recollections of the “homeland,” of what was lost and gained, of the trials and success of ancestors and relatives, of individual and collective hopes, dreams and accomplishments are, in part, inseparable from what it means to be an immigrant. Such stories are also articulated in ways beyond words through photographs, keepsakes, artifacts, diaries, home movies, web pages and a myriad of other forms of articulating the past, present and future. Indeed, as Anthony Giddens has noted, among others, life stories are integral to the formation of identity (Giddens 1991: 76). Yet despite the seemingly obvious nature of such observations, the interplay between storytelling conventions, migration, immigration, social and collective memory is increasingly complex. Central to such complexity are the dynamics of globalization, especially as fueled by the swiftly moving currents of media technology, with the Internet and other digital technologies acting as the prime movers of cultural and social memory.


  • cultural diversity;
  • cross-cultural;
  • social change;
  • linguistics;
  • anthropology