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Title: Social representations of Latin American history and (post)colonial relations in Brazil, Chile and Mexico
Authors: Brasil, Julia Alves
Cabecinhas, Rosa
Issue Date: 11-Jan-2018
Publisher: PsychOpen
Abstract: Social representations of history play an important role in defining the identity of national and supranational groups such as Latin America, and also influencing present-day intergroup relations. In this paper, we discuss a study that aimed to analyse and compare social representations of Latin American history among Brazilian, Chilean, and Mexican participants. We conducted a survey with 213 university students, aged 18 to 35 years old, from these three countries, through an online questionnaire with open-ended questions about important events and people in the region's history. Despite the reference to different historical events and the existence of national specificities, several common topics were noteworthy across the three samples. There was a centrality of events involving political issues, conflicts and revolutions, as well as a recency effect and a sociocentric bias, replicating previous research about social representations of world history in different countries. There was also a strong prominence of colonization and independence issues in all samples. Through an emphasis on a common narrative of struggle and overcoming difficulties, the participants’ social representations of Latin American history may favour mobilization and resistance, challenging the stability and legitimacy of the existing social order. Furthermore, the findings are discussed in terms of their potential connections with present-day intergroup relations within Latin America, and between Latin America and other parts of the world.
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