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Neglect as project: How two societies forget

Littlewood, R; (2009) Neglect as project: How two societies forget. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute , 15 (1) pp. 113-130. 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2008.01533.x.

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A new dispensation demands that details, indeed memories, of the old ways be forgotten as fresh ideals and modes of action become paramount. This article proposes that an initial step in forgetting involves neglect-more specifically the neglect of certain patterns of comportment or material evidence or practice that recall a past now considered undesirable. In a millennialist Caribbean community, past memories and technical practices are discouraged by 'ideological work' that constantly weighs the old order against a new world in the process of creation: 'directed forgetting'. For a post-communist Albanian village, by contrast, neglecting a technology appears a more transparently 'spontaneous' process. For both, memories are insubstantiated in an older material world, which must be avoided or destroyed. © 2009 Royal Anthropological Institute.

Type: Article
Title: Neglect as project: How two societies forget
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2008.01533.x
UCL classification: UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1360697
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