Unpacking the unspoken: Silence in collective memory and forgetting

Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Collective memory quite naturally brings to mind notions of mnemonic speech and representation. In this article, however, we propose that collective silences be thought of as a rich and promising arena through which to understand how groups deal with their collective pasts. In so doing, we explore two types of silence: overt silence and covert silence, and suggest that each may be used to enhance either memory or forgetting. We illustrate our conceptual scheme using data on the commemoration of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1103-1122
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


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