New Cause To Remember: A Reexamination Of Generational Attitudes And Collective Memory Within The Cuban Community



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The most important work, the precursor to all generational studies is Mannheim's "The problem of generations". The work puts forward not a biological explanation to age cohorts having certain outlooks on life, but rather that it is lived experiences and life events at a certain period in one's life that shapes a person's outlook for their life. These critical years are given more attention in Amy Corning and Howard Schuman's work in both "Generational Memory and the Critical Period" and "Generations and Collective Memory". Both works aimed to test Mannheim's original proposal through a series of surveys of several countries on events. On average, the participants found that the "critical period" for generational defining events rated events within the said critical period as more important than events outside the "critical period", on average. This essay reanalyzes the “critical period” and generational attitudes based on this thesis research’s findings from an in-depth interview in Miami. The data suggest and from in-field observation that firstly the “critical period” is more flexible and less set in stone than previously thought. This reevaluation comes from ethnographic data that suggests sufficiently noteworthy events can greatly alter one’s perception of events normally within the “critical period”. In this case study, the historical event in question is the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro’s administration. Also covered in this essay are collective experiences that can be the foundation of communities despite physical barriers to come together (Anderson 1983). The case study for this section is the cultural tourism of Cuban Americans and significant landmarks such as the Freedom Tower.



Cuba, Hispanic, Social anthropology, Generational attitudes, Collective memory