The Obituary as Collective Memory (Routledge Advances in by Bridget Fowler

By Bridget Fowler

The 1st severe educational learn of obituaries, this booklet makes a speciality of how societies have in mind. Bridget Fowler makes nice use of the theories of Pierre Bordieu, arguing that obituaries are one vital part in society's collective reminiscence. This ebook, the 1st of its type, will discover a position on each severe sociology scholar's bookshelves.

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Schwartz 1990:104) Further, the Halbwachian antithesis between collective memory and history has rightly been criticised for presupposing a positivist conception of history as absolute and unchanging truth (Hutton 1993: xxv, 77; 97). More tendentiously, Halbwachs has been depicted in some quarters as a Burkean conservative, whose conception of the collective memory bears a resemblance to the organic notion of collective traditions branching out from the tree of order (Osiel 1997: 213–14; cf Ricoeur 2000: 146–51).

He ends, using Shakespearean innuendo to reinforce Modise’s critics: ‘So his friends say, for all his sins, Joe Modise served the new South Africa well’. By this mustering of the evidence, the reader realises that the verdict should not rest with his friends. A parallel narrative of accumulating misuse of power is deployed in the case of Jack Dash, the dockers’ leader, in The Daily Telegraph (ch. 11). Dash is presented as seductive and charming, but an ultimately irresponsible trade-unionist. He is said to have priced his own London members out of the market.

6 million in shares. He died, nevertheless, decorated by Mbeki with the South African Grand Cross. The obituarist progressively sows seeds of doubt about Modise: references to his ‘staggering brutality, extraordinary abuse of power’ are followed by subsequent evidence of corruption. He ends, using Shakespearean innuendo to reinforce Modise’s critics: ‘So his friends say, for all his sins, Joe Modise served the new South Africa well’. By this mustering of the evidence, the reader realises that the verdict should not rest with his friends.

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