Historie – Otázky – Problémy

USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive in CVH Malach and Czechoslovak Jewish identities

Abstract: Identities and their representation and expression in different social contexts became one of the key problems of social sciences and humanities in the late 20th century. Sociology – which is the approach taken in this paper – doesn’t understand identity as something given or fixed, but rather as a social construction created in the processes of interaction and negotiation. Emphasis is on the temporal mutability and fluidity of the identities, their social origin (membership in different social groups and identification with them), and the premise that an individual in contemporary society uses a variety of different identities in social interactions. First part of the paper presents the archive, which is the source of the data; the second part is a short overview of key theoretical aspects of sociological research on identities; and the final part is dealing with different ways of expressing a collective (Jewish) identity in biographical interviews from the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, interpreting it in the broad context of sociological reflections on personal and collective identity.

Key words: World War II; Holocaust; collective identity; Jewish identity

Mgr. Jakub Mlynář je doktorandem Katedry sociologie Filozofické Fakulty Univerzity Karlovy a koordinátorem Centra vizuální historie Malach při Matematicko-fyzikální fakultě UK. Zabývá se vztahem paměti a identity z hlediska sociologie a vlivem vzpomínek na utváření skupinové identity ( mlynar@knih.mff.cuni.cz).