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Original scientific paper

Intertwining Research Decisions and Theoretical Foundations: An Example of Collective Memories Research

Tanja Vučković Juroš orcid id ; Social Work Study Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia

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page 141-160

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The present paper uses the example of collective memories research to demonstrate how a research decision-making process, a particular approach to the research area and an operationalization of the collective memories issue were theoretically based on three levels. The first, the level of the sociological theoretical perspective – social constructivism in this case – defined the manner in which collective memories were approached and their individualistic conceptualization. Such a conceptualization has been neglected so far in the dominant semiotic and institutionalist approaches to collective memories. The second level, the level of the methodological approach, has resulted in use of qualitative methods within the framework of social constructivism. Finally, the third level encompassed current theoretical developments in the field of collective memories, which led to the “discovery” of a gap in this field and to the formulation of specific research questions. At the end, the present paper attempts to demonstrate how specific answers to the research questions posed in such a way may contribute to current theoretical considerations of the collective memories field, and how they may contribute to fulfilling the observed gap. In this way, the paper shows how a qualitative approach to collective memories has contributed to this field by providing a new understanding of the issue of collective memories formation, which dominant semiotic and institutionalist approaches have been less successful in providing.


theory, social constructivism, qualitative methods, collective memories, individualistic conceptualization

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