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What is ‘needed’ to keep remembering? War‐specific communication, parental exemplar behaviour and participation in national commemorations

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Nations and Nationalism

Published online on


Given the abundance of literature on collective memory practices, there is relatively little empirical research on the socialization processes explaining the transmission of such practices. This article examines to what extent war‐specific communication and parental exemplar behaviour function as a link between the collected memories of individuals and society's collective memory. Utilizing data from an online survey conducted in 2014, we focus on participation in the activities organized on Remembrance Day and Liberation Day in the Netherlands in remembrance of the Second World War. We distinguish between public and private practices. Our findings highlight that different forms of socialization substitute for one another. Whereas communication with non‐relatives is particularly relevant for those communicating less frequently with parents about past war experiences, parental exemplar behaviour, such as participating in the two‐minute silence on Remembrance Day, plays a bigger role amongst those with lower levels of communication with either relatives or non‐relatives.