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Synopsis

A contribution to the popular international and interdisciplinary field of collective memory within a Scandinavian context, this reference presents a number of case studies-from the Middle Age to the present time-that discuss how people look to the past for identity and meaning. Acknowledging that many pasts exist-sometimes harmoniously and other times in conflict-this resource attempts to negotiate the past by analyzing the tensions that occur when individuals with different interests, understandings, and points of view study history and by exploring the inherent desire to develop a consensus between the past and the present. Examining subject areas such as social and cultural history, literature, cultural studies, archeology, mythology, and anthropology, this study expresses how crucial it is to understand the processes of dealing with the past when trying to chart how and why societies and communities change and evolve.

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