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Legacy work: three strategies of adversarial meaning-making of historical characters

Legacy work: three strategies of adversarial meaning-making of historical characters Memory struggles over historical characters in contentious politics have often been framed as reputation struggles in which the valence of a character is disputed by adversarial groups. However, antagonist actors often invoke and appropriate the same revered character to endorse contradicting political goals. These struggles often revolve around a different dimension of the character’s memory: the significance of the character’s legacy. In this study, I examine three strategies employed to battle over the political legacy of Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas. I introduce the term Legacy Work to explain how actors in contentious politics transform or preserve the meaning of political legacies and provide a sociological answer to the question “What would leaders of the past have us do today?” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Cultural Sociology Springer Journals

Legacy work: three strategies of adversarial meaning-making of historical characters

American Journal of Cultural Sociology , Volume 9 (4): 37 – Dec 1, 2021

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © Springer Nature Limited 2020
ISSN
2049-7113
eISSN
2049-7121
DOI
10.1057/s41290-019-00095-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Memory struggles over historical characters in contentious politics have often been framed as reputation struggles in which the valence of a character is disputed by adversarial groups. However, antagonist actors often invoke and appropriate the same revered character to endorse contradicting political goals. These struggles often revolve around a different dimension of the character’s memory: the significance of the character’s legacy. In this study, I examine three strategies employed to battle over the political legacy of Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas. I introduce the term Legacy Work to explain how actors in contentious politics transform or preserve the meaning of political legacies and provide a sociological answer to the question “What would leaders of the past have us do today?”

Journal

American Journal of Cultural SociologySpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 2021

Keywords: Characters; Reputation; Legacy; Collective memory; Populist rhetoric; Symbolism

References