International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

6R Historical Narratives and the Influence of Moral Issues.

(Session Organizer) Mario M. Carretero, Autonoma University, Madrid, Spain; (Discussant) Helen Haste, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Autonoma University, Madrid, Spain
Research Area: Political culture, identity, and language

The moral dimension of historical master narratives is a quite obvious one, but unfortunately it has not been much explored, particularly from an empirical point of view. National historical narratives play an important role as moral vectors, because they are designed with that goal in mind.  This purpose is accomplished in at least two ways: First, the master narrative establishes the distinction between "good" and   "bad" options. Typically, the first one is associated with the  national "we," and the second one is related to "they". Second, master narratives offer living examples of civic virtue, particularly of loyalty. In this symposium studies carried out in three differrent countries (Argentina, Guatemala and Spain) will be presented. They explore students historical and political master narratives about both remote historical events and recent (and violent) ones. A. Barreiro studies the possible relation between “the belief in a just world” and the moralized versions of historical events. C. Lopez and M.  Carretero present a study about students conceptions about a central master narrative in the  construction process of the spanish national identity. In the Bresco study, an interesting relation is found about the way in which participants thematize the Basque conflict. As a matter of fact, they had different versions of the episode according to the distinct moral and identitarian positionings subjects identify with. M. Bellino explores three distinct orientations to human rights that emerged among urban and rural youth, each of which is rooted in a particular take on Guatemala’s history of violence.