Communism in retrospect: The rhetoric of historical representation and writing the collective memory of recent past

  title={Communism in retrospect: The rhetoric of historical representation and writing the collective memory of recent past},
  author={Cristian Tileagă},
  journal={Memory Studies},
  pages={462 - 478}
  • C. Tileagă
  • Published 19 February 2012
  • Sociology
  • Memory Studies
Using a case study of official representation of communism in Romania, this article addresses the rhetoric of historical representation and some of the ways in which the collective memory of communism is managed in the context of how post-communist democracies reckon with former regimes. It specifically centres on the public accomplishment of coming to terms with the past in the ‘Tismăneanu Report’ condemning communism in Romania. Using an ethnomethodologically inspired critical analysis, the… 
Communism and the Meaning of Social Memory: Towards a Critical-Interpretive Approach
  • C. Tileagă
  • Sociology
    Integrative psychological & behavioral science
  • 2012
It is argued that one needs to study formal aspects of social memory as well as “lived”, often conflicting, attitudinal and mnemonic stances and interpretive frameworks to strive to find the meaning of the social memory of communism in the sometimes contradictory, paradoxical attitudes and meanings that members of society communicate, endorse and debate.
Public apologia, moral transgression and degradation ceremonies
This paper discusses some socio-psychological aspects of reconciliation with the recent communist past in eastern Europe using the example of a public apologia of a Romanian public intellectual on
Settling Accounts with the Troublesome Past: Self-Criticism in Poland and Eastern Europe
Abstract Public acts of self-criticism in Eastern Europe – a genre cultivated and extorted by the communist parties – did not disappear with the end of communism. In the young democracies of the
Uneasy Heritage: Remembering Everyday Life in Post-Socialist Memorials and Museums
This chapter examines the representation of state socialism in three post-socialist states: Romania, Hungary, and Germany. It argues that the relationship with popular memories of everyday life
Troubled Pasts, Collective Memory, and Collective Futures
This is a chapter about how nations imagine possible futures in the context of transitional justice and coming to terms with the communist past in Eastern Europe. For post-communist countries engaged
The right measure of guilt: Moral reasoning, transgression and the social construction of moral meanings
Using a discursive and ethnomethodological analytic framework, this article explores the social construction of moral transgression and moral meanings in the context of coming to terms with the
Discursive psychology and social practices of avoidance
This is a chapter about the contribution of discursive psychology to researching social practices of avoidance (gaps, silences, ambivalence) in contexts of rapid social change. I open the chapter
Media memorial discourses and memory struggles in Slovenia: Transforming memories of the Second World War and Yugoslavia
The radical break between two national contexts in 1991, when Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia, and Slovenia’s integration into the European Union in 2004, has brought changes to the collective
A history of post-communist remembrance: from memory politics to the emergence of a field of anticommunism
This article invites the view that the Europeanization of an antitotalitarian “collective memory” of communism reveals the emergence of a field of anticommunism. This transnational field is
Remembering the Partisans and Yugoslav socialism : Memories and counter-memories
The aim of this study is to investigate the politics of memory and the transformations of memories of WWII and socialist Yugoslavia in the present-day Slovenia. I focus on the grass-roots, bottom-up


The social organization of representations of history: the textual accomplishment of coming to terms with the past.
  • C. Tileagă
  • Sociology
    The British journal of social psychology
  • 2009
It is suggested that a conception of coming to terms with the past as a textual accomplishment may lead to a fuller appreciation of the structure, function and salience of representations of history as integral part of moral/political/legal courses of action.
Coming to Terms with the Communist Past in Romania: An Analysis of the Political and Media Discourse Concerning the Tismăneanu Report
This paper looks at the public debates about the communist past, as triggered by the final report on the communist dictatorship in Romania (the Tismăneanu report) and its presidential endorsement in
Democracy and Memory: Romania Confronts Its Communist Past
All postcommunist societies face major dilemmas in confronting their traumatic past. A functional democracy cannot be based on lies, denial, and amnesia. Romania's exit from communism has resulted in
Confronting Romania's Communist Past: A Response to Charles King
The report of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in România, issued in December 2006, is the most serious attempt to understand România's communist experience
Remembering Romanian Communism
  • C. King
  • Political Science
    Slavic Review
  • 2007
The report of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania, issued in December 2006, is the most serious attempt to understand Romania's communist experience
The vanishing truth? Politics and memory in post-communist Europe
In Eastern Europe, the post-communist transformation has been as much an effort to come to terms with the horrors of the communist past as to build a future stable democratic order and address
Writing the Social: Critique, Theory, and Investigations
This collection of essays, written by Dorothy Smith over the past eight years, is a long-awaited treasure by one of the world's foremost social thinkers. In it, Smith turns her wit and common sense
Social representations of the individual: A post-Communist perspective
Social representations of the individual are examined in three post-Communist Central European nations, i.e. the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, and in three West European nations, i.e.
Truth Commissions in Post-Communism: The Overlooked Solution?
Despite their increased popularity in Latin America, Africa and Asia, truth commissions have remained an overlooked solution to coming to terms with the recent human rights abuses perpetrated in
Criminalising the Past and Reconstructing Collective Memory: The Romanian Truth Commission
Abstract This article analyses the report issued by the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania in January 2007 within the context of the politics of memory