American Anthropologist has a review of a new book I’m looking forward to reading, Lindsay DuBois’s The Politics of the Past in an Argentine Working-Class Neighbourhood, reviewed by Pablo Lapegna, who appears to be a graduate student in sociology at SUNY-Stony Brook. Lapegna’s view is quite complimentary of the work, ang highlights a question about memory and history I’ve been struggling with for awhile.
In reconstructing the ways that silences and memories about history are produced among subaltern actors (and considering what implications those processes have for the present), DuBois also prevents us from the misleading approachapproach of taking working-class memory “as a false consciousness or as a direct line to the truth” (p. 176). She shows us that the dictatorship also had supporters in the popular sectors, warns us against romanticizing them, and reminds us that “we tend to think of popular memory as a kind of voice of the people, but which people, which voice?” (p. 209). In brief, this account of the understandings of the past shows us that “the politics of the past” (and, thus, the politics of the present) could have several meanings that are molded by culture and power in a multiplicity of points of view.