Mariam Khoury, MSc Social and Cultural Psychology
I'm a 22 year old Lebanese girl who grew up in Paris. I did my undergraduate in City, University of London in media, communication and sociology and my masters at LSE, in Social and Cultural Psychology. I graduated yesterday, and for the past 3 months I've been working part-time on launching a marketing consultancy with a partner and part-time on just taking some time off and deciding what I want to do.
“If we let them in, they will try to take our country again”: The influence of collective memory on present attitudes in Lebanon.
Supervisor: Cathy Nicolson
This study examines the collective memory of the Syrian occupation among the Christian Lebanese community living in Lebanon, and how it influences their attitude towards Syrian refugees in Lebanon today. The purpose of this paper is to explore the social representations created by collective memory and their transmission to younger generations. Furthermore, this research aims to understand the role of families within a collectivistic society in the shaping of point of view, which in turn, will determine attitudes. Accordingly, the research aims to answer two questions: How does the Christian Lebanese’s collective memory of the Syrian occupation construct social representations of Syrians today? How does the transmission of social representations in Lebanese families influence young adults’ point of view which, in turn, affects their attitude? In line with the nature of these questions, this research is based on nineteen interviews: nine adults living in Lebanon during the Syrian occupation, and their offspring, i.e. ten young adults living in Lebanon today. The findings were grounded into one overarching theme: intergenerational transmission of knowledge causes negative attitudes. Unravelling the complexity of psychological processes in post-conflict zones, this study contributes to existing research about collective memory and social representations in the Middle East. It essentially argues that the collectivistic nature of Lebanon implies the importance of intergenerational transmission of representations which propagates perceived rivalries between populations. Further, this affects young adults’ shaping of point of view which determines their attitudes.