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Old November 8th, 2012, 10:50 AM   #11

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The Conquest of Mexico and long-term fusion of legacies has pretty much defined modern Mexico. I'm no expert (Sylla1 might have some input), but I understand that Mexico's national psyche has resulted and can't really be detangled from it. Octavio Paz called his people the literal and figurative 'sons and daughters of La Malinche.' But not derisively, just that Mexican culture is bound to this relationship in both a symbolic and genetic way.

Last edited by Star; November 8th, 2012 at 11:00 AM.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #12

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I think I read the OP wrong, I get it now. lol
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Old November 8th, 2012, 12:56 PM   #13

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I wondered what the hell was you talking about in your first post... after some readings I "understood" you
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Old November 8th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #14

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"national psyche" comes from young years of citizens [like personal psyche]; that is to say it comes from family and education.

This can have curious effects. Italians feel the end of Nazism / Fascism as a liberation and the triumph of the real Italy, the country of the people, of the workers, of the partisans ...

a couple of decades of Fascism and some years of war on the side of the Nazis are substantially "removed" from Italian national psyche. Like Mussolini wasn't Italian and Fascists were German Nazis migrated to Italy ...

It's not a long time that Italian historiography is looking more deeper into those years.

This said, as for Italy, it's just the "Liberation" to have influenced our national psyche of a peaceful country with aspirations to freedom and social equality. Also the "historical liberal Italy" [the one before of Fascism] is just on history books and almost ignored by common Italians [this why Italy in those years of democracy took part to the colonial effort of European powers ... not that politically correct for the new Italy].
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Old November 8th, 2012, 06:25 PM   #15

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
Perhaps no other concept is so often misused, or so vague and open to anyone's interpretation as the "national psyche" or the "soul" of a nation or people. Nevertheless, with hindsight as our mighty tool we try to explain our present selves by looking at the past. Different circumstances led to a great variety of peoples and cultures. What are some key historical events that shaped the peoples you are interested in?
"National psyche" is of course an overstatement of the impression that major events left in specific groups of people. The impact of such events may carry on for several generations, even if the initial results have long ceased to exist. Transmitted from one generation to the next through personal storytelling, beliefs and attitudes, and through education, they resemble ripples spreading in the water: their effect diminishes as time passes by, but the stronger the event, the stronger its influence and the longer it lasts.

Regarding Greece, such a key event is "the Minor Asia catastrophe" as it is called here, regarding the events that escalated to the Greco-Turkish war of 1919-1922, the destruction of Smyrna, and the uprooting of all Greek population from Asia Minor, terminating a 3000 years old presence in the area.

Another influential event was the German occupation of Greece during WWII, the massacres of civilians, and especially the Great Famine of 1941-1942 with its hundreds of thousands of deaths from starvation.
Great Famine (Greece) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And finally, the civil war that followed the end of WWII, casting its shadow for decades to come, up until the 80's.

I could go back in time and also mention the fall of Constantinople and of the Byzantine empire, the Ottoman years and the war of independence from the Turks, but these events are not within living memory, and are passed down only by education and folk legends.


I suspect that the current financial crisis will also be a reverberating event for generations to come.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #16

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The soul/psyche of a nation seems to be an agglomeration of events and cultural traits that have become hegemonic and are often viewed as reflective of said nation’s values. This is, of course, an exercise in tautology as those interested in asserting that a soul or psyche of a nation exists, find the means by which to exemplify such.

Since national identity is a social construct that adapts to socio-economic and political conditions, these events and traits may remain part of the soul/psyche of the nation, yet they undergo interpretational changes as needed.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 11:09 PM   #17

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I wonder what the national psyche was in Argentina towards the British before the Falklands? I am only aware of the the post feelings as it was before my time.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #18

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If you're interesting in national collective memory, for one, then probably the most notable work on it for France has been Pierre Nora's Lieux de mémoire. It's a bit old now, but still highly cited. I can't agree fully with what he proposes, but there are certainly indisputable key events, particularly in leading to a kind of nationalistic sentiment in the early days - French Revolution, (Napoleonic and Colonial) Empire, Algeria, soixante-huit, etc.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 07:17 PM   #19

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Concerning national soul/psyche I think it is always useful to look at colonial and post-colonial discourses. Both, the colonizer and the colonized are forever marked by the events and experiences framing colonization.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 09:19 PM   #20

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National psyche/.national identity, does exist. It does however shift over time because it is based on human memory and memories change. Is it based on fact? Often it is mythologized fact. I have lived a long time and I'm now in my late twilight years (nice way of saying in my dotage) and have lived in two countries. This has given me an over view of how image changes even within a life span.It's not only memory that changes. With dislocation of population caused by two world wars, the mix of cultures within a country can have an effect.
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