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What Makes Memory Sociologically Significant

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Memory is a process of storing and retrieving information and experiences. Information received makes its way into our memory through our senses. The first step in restoring memory is our senses, if our senses are not working properly then there is no way we can form a memory. The memory is processed by several systems throughout the brain and stored for later use. For our memory to work correctly, the information has to be correctly through the senses. Memory is stored according to many themes. Memory is stored according to time, category, and function

There are several different levels of memory which represents individual systems within the brain.

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What social groups do you identify with? Perhaps your parents are Irish immigrants, or your family has been in North America since before the U.S. was even born. Social groups are more than just ethnicity, however, and chances are you are or were part of a sports team or activities club: you considered yourself a football or volleyball athlete, or a member of the chess club. These groups we use to categorize ourselves often come with certain identities attached

Immigrants - regardless of their country of origin - are often fleeing hardship or persecution in their homeland, while certain connotations and identities are attached to other social groups. For instance, chess clubbers are generally assumed to be smarter than their average classmate, while football players are usually considered to be the opposite. The study of social memory as a sub-discipline in history is a relatively new concept. For the majority of the history of historical study (called historiography), historians have considered the personal history of individuals and groups - whether real or conjured - to be of little use to historians. With human memory's inherent flaws and constant doctoring of events to fit one's own self-image, historians have preferred what they considered to be more concrete versions of events: court documents, eyewitness testimonies, personal journals, and so on. Historians cared very little, for example, what today's white supremacists thought were the causes behind the Civil War; they could get a clearer picture of those events through examining congressional documents and the era's economic indicators. These feelings have changed recently, as historians have begun to explore different topics within history and used different approaches. The accepted, shared histories of social groups are no longer considered off limits as folkloric justifications for a group's own existence, but rather as important parts to understand if historians are to truly grasp how a social group views itself. By gaining knowledge and piecing together a group's social memory, historians can often deduce the underlying emotions and societal change that were the impetus for the group's coalescence.

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After all, for the purposes of this book, “sociology of memory” is the examination of sociological concepts about memory from various perspectives regarding memory in various forms; that is, as conceptualized and utilized by institutions as small as the family or as large as institutionalized electronic “commodity” memory or banked biological DNA “memory” of entire populations.

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