In the Introduction to the essays in two thematic issues of Archival Science on Archives, Records and Power (2002) the editors Schwartz and Cook advance a working definition of “archive” as a social construct intimately tied to the “information needs” of large organizations like governments, universities, libraries, corporations, and agencies that serves to categorize what will be remembered and what will be ignored, covered up, or forbidden.
This project is an experimental venture that attempts to determine the degree to which corporations alter the state of collective memory surrounding three social justice movements: #blacklivesmatter, #blackouttuesday, and #stopasianhate.
The collection of commercially mediated social justice hashtags from 2020-2021 that we examined, was selected from corporations that used these hashtags in posts published on corporate social media accounts. A “sample archive” of posts that the selected corporations exhibited is the basis for the content analyzed.
The posts, as well as recent comments, are provided along with a survey section that allows users’ input to formulate the central inquiry: does corporate media social justice help or hinder the memory of social justice movements?
The posts are categorized according to the social movement they represent and the social media platform from which they’re derived.
A progression from corporate social responsibility to corporate social justice movements may thereby show how “corporatization” of social justice affects memory surrounding socio-cultural movements.
“In cultural formation, a collective experience crystallizes, whose meaning, when touched upon, may suddenly become accessible again across the millennia. Halbwachs thematizes the nexus between mem-ory and group, [while] Warburg the one between memory and the language of cultural forms.
Our theory of cultural memory attempts to relate all three poles – memory (the contemporized past), culture, and the group (society) – to each other.”
from Collective Memory and Cultural Identity
(text originally published in Kultur und Gediichtnis, eds. Jan Assmann and Tonio Holscher (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1988)
“The strongest and most striking studies in cul-tural memory are based on interdisciplinary exchange -– between media studies and cultural history (J. Assmann; A. Assmann).
from Towards a Conceptual Foundation for Cultural Memory Studies
(A. Erll & A. Nünning, Media and cultural memory , Walter de Gruyter.)