"Places That Can Make Us Grow"—Empirical Reconstructions of how Meaning is Created in the Context of the Opening of Two Norwegian Memorial Sites

  • Claudia Lenz Norwegian School of Theology
  • Peter Schröder
Keywords: memory culture, memory politics, historical consciousness, intercultural communication, conversation analysis, discourse analysis, social interaction, positioning in conversation, cooperation in conversation, identity, interview

Abstract

This article is the result of an interdisciplinary endeavor to study the topic of historical consciousness, in which  theoretical and methodological approaches of memory research (an interdisciplinary discipline in itself) and conversation analysis (a discipline integrating sociological and linguistic concepts) are combined. The study was empirically based on interviews with visitors of the opening ceremonies for the Holocaust Centre in Oslo and the Falstad-Centre near Trondheim (a memorial site and human rights center). One of our aims in the article is to demonstrate that historical consciousness can best be traced in actual social interaction and how the conversation analytic approach can be employed to make it accessible.

We begin the article by giving an overview of the public memory culture related to the Holocaust and the German occupation of Norway and by reflecting on the function of memorial sites. This part establishes the frame for the microanalytic reconstructions of two interview segments. Through our analysis, we try to shed light upon the interplay and tensions between official memory culture and individual orientations and interpretations.

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Author Biographies

Claudia Lenz, Norwegian School of Theology

Claudia LENZ (Prof. Dr. Phil.), derzeitige Positionen: Professorin an der Norwegian School of Theology und Research Professor am Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities. Arbeits- und Forschungsschwerpunkte: Geschichtsbewusstsein, Erinnerungskulturen und Geschichtspolitik in Bezug auf den Zweiten Weltkrieg und den Holocaust, Geschichtsdidaktik, Demokratiepädagogik sowie Vorbeugung gruppenbezogener Menschenfeindlichkeit in der Schule. Neuere Publikation: mit Sanna BRATTLAND und Lise KVANDE (Hrsg.) (2016). Crossing Borders. Combining Human Rights Education and History Education. Berlin: Lit.

Peter Schröder

Peter SCHRÖDER (Prof. em. Dr. phil.) war langjähriger wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Institut für deutsche Sprache Mannheim (bis Ende 1977 a.d. Universität Freiburg) und maßgeblich beteiligt an verschiedenen empirischen Projekten zur Grammatik der gesprochenen Sprache und zu institutioneller Kommunikation. In Norwegen war er zuletzt verantwortlich für ein "Hovedfag"-Studium (vergleichbar einem Masterstudium) zur deutschen Wirtschaftskommunikation. Er war auch Mitautor beim "Funk-Kolleg Sprache". Schwerpunkte seiner wissenschaftlichen Arbeit waren/sind Soziolinguistik, Grammatik der gesprochenen Sprache und Gesprächsanalyse.

Published
2018-09-27