Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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Our study deals with the meaning of history in the process of construction of one’s self, particularly focusing on the role of historical identity, defined as the psychological awareness of family and cultural inheritance, received by the group in which individuals happen to be born. Since it is determined by the time and place of birth, historical identity may not be chosen, it may only be recognised as more or less meaningful. A psychological confrontation with one’s historical identity — no matter whether it is accepted or refused — is always a specific feature of the construction of one’s self. Starting from these assumptions, we conducted a number of focus group discussions among Italian participants. In order to highlight the evaluative dimensions of discourses, texts were submitted to the APPRAISAL system. All focus group discussions confirmed the difficulties in facing Italy’s collective responsibilities during WWII, suggesting that the protective function of historical identity is still at work down the generations; but they also show a less frequent use of affective resources by the younger generation, indicating a slow progress towards mature in-group reconciliation.


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