Autobiographical Memory and the Construction of a Narrative Self
Developmental and Cultural Perspectives
It is a truism in psychology that self and autobiographical memory are linked, yet we still know surprisingly little about the nature of this relation. Scholars from multiple disciplines, including cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and philosophy have begun theorizing and writing about the ways in which autobiographical memory is organized, the role that narratives play in the development of autobiographical memory, and the relations between autobiographical memory, narrative, and self concept. If narratives are a critical link between memory and self, then it becomes apparent that the roles of language and social interaction are paramount. These are the issues addressed in this volume. Although individual authors offer their own unique perspectives in illuminating the nature of the link between self and memory, the contributors share a perspective that both memory and self are constructed through specific forms of social interactions and/or cultural frameworks that lead to the formation of an autobiographical narrative. Taken together, the chapters weave a coherent story about how each of us creates a life narrative embedded in social-cultural frameworks that define what is appropriate to remember, how to remember it, and what it means to be a self with an autobiographical past.