Patricia Baeza

Patricia Baeza 

Título de Tesis: "Construcción y transmisión de memorias que compiten sobre el pasado reciente de Chile"

Resumen

This thesis aims to comparatively describe the way in which memories and countermemories of human rights violations that took place during the Chilean dictatorship are constructed intersubjectively as a discourse practice and transmitted from one adult generation to the new generation, who appropriates, reinterprets or resignifies those memories and incorporate them to their own experience.

The analysis of this research takes an intersubjective and critical perspective, which integrates the Appraisal framework and Critical Discourse Studies, taking into consideration, in particular, the mechanisms of legitimation and the strategies of perpetuation or transformation that adolescent and adult informants privileged in their discourse. In agreement with the objectives of this research, the methodology of analysis is qualitative. The corpus is constituted by the videotaped interviews conducted to twelve informants: six adults of different ideological positions who lived the dictatorship period in Chile or in exile and six adolescents whose ages range from fifteen to sixteen years old and attended third grade of high School at the moment of being interviewed. The corpus is also constituted by Carmen Parot's documentary Estadio Nacional (National Stadium, 2001). The driving force in the construction and transmission of memories regarding the Chilean recent past from one generation to the next is comprised by the informants’ evaluations of the human rights violations by means of inscribed or invoked appraisals, as reported in varied sources.

Findings show the construction and transmission of historical memories from adults to adolescents are carried out through the accumulation of evaluative meanings in people’s talk about the past, in what are called evaluative prosodies. They work to legitimize or delegitimize diverse social actors and historical events, by means of different mechanisms such as Glorification vs. Condemnation, Naturalization, Dehumanizing vs. Humanizing, Fearful response, Judicial discrediting, Silencing, Oblivion, among others. In this always dynamic process of memory transmission there is recontextualization of social actors and events into discourse within new temporal and social practices and contexts (Bernstein, 1990, 1999) necessarily involving their resignification (Iedema, 1997, 2001, 2003).

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