Commemorating a difficult past: Yitzhak Rabin's memorials

Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


While the literature on collective memory suggests that a multivocal type of commemoration will be constructed in response to a difficult past. Yitzhak Rabin's commemorations provide a case study of a different type of commemoration of challenging events: a fragmented commemoration. A fragmented commemoration consists of multiple times and spaces in which different discourses of the past are aimed at disparate audiences. The author offers a theoretical model within which the emergence of both types of commemoration (multivocal and fragmented) can be understood and analyzed. The model consists of three dimensions: (1) the political culture of the commemorating society. (2) the relevance of past to present, and (3) the power of agents of memory. Explanatory models consisting of a dynamic interplay of agents, cultures, and structures prove valuable as a basis for the study of various sorts of cultural productions in general and commemorative types in particular.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)30-51
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Sociological Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


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