Stability and change in the organisation of collective memory representations

MUTLUTÜRK A., Tekcan A. I., Boduroglu A.

Memory, vol.30, no.10, pp.1302-1318, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09658211.2022.2112232
  • Journal Name: Memory
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1302-1318
  • Keywords: Collective memory, public event memory, multidimensional scaling, sociopolitical identity, stability, voting behaviour
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, we investigated the impact of a highly consequential public event, the July 15 Coup Attempt, on the structure and organisation of events in Turkish collective memory. To do this, we followed up on our earlier work (Mutlutürk, Tekcan, & Boduroglu, 2021) that used the multidimensional scaling approach to identify critical dimensions in public event representational space. Participants rated the similarity of 15 key public events in a pairwise fashion, across three waves of data collection. They were also asked to report for which political party they had voted in the most recent election. We replicated our earlier results that public events were distinguished based on their political and nonpolitical characteristics; political events were clustered based on their specific attributes. Despite substantial stability in the organisation of collective memories across three time points, the post-coup representational space among voters of the ruling party changed, eliminating clusters within the political dimension and resulting in the ruling party achieving a central and anchor status. These findings suggest that, transformative events may have the potential to impact the structure and organisation of collective memory representations and sociopolitical identity may have to do with the stability of collective memories.