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Le souvenir s’en va-t-en guerre : Mémoires & représentations sociales du soldat de 14-18

Abstract : The Centenary of the First World War (WWI) shows a desire to commemorate, and more generally, a social phenomenon which questions the traces of this conflict in social thought. The aim of our thesis is to question the way which the emblematic figure of the soldier of the Great War is today thought, illustrated, anchored, commemorated in European and French context. We support the hypothesis that the social representation of the soldier from WWI plays an emblematic role in the transmission of the collective memory of the Great War. Difficult living conditions in the trenches, the physical and psychological trauma characterize this conflict and highlight the victimhood (Rimé, Bouchat, Klein & Licata, 2015). The social construction of memories linked to a historical event is part of a framework referring to a social identity (Haas & Jodelet, 2007; Jodelet & Haas, 2019). Do we have a homogeneous representation of the Great War in Europe and in France in particular? Three sources of results will allow us to illustrate our research: A first series of results came from the European Project Nemex COST Action 1205 (Bouchat, Licata, Rosoux & Klein, 2017, 2019) on the collective memory of WWI events via a sample (N=2525) of students from 16 countries. We performed a secondary analysis of two scales (emotional and representational) on the 14-18 soldier from his own country or from an enemy country. There is a significant difference in responses depending on the nationality of the participants and the status of their country during the WWI: formerly belligerent countries (more emphatic) versus neutral (more negative). On the other hand, a common tendency of responses converges towards a consensual representation of the enemy.A second phase aims to try to determine if there is a possible inter-regional differentiation of the social representation of the soldier in France. For this, a questionnaire was distributed to 14 French universities (N=884). The first results indicate an apparent homogeneity of the responses, a sort of national image of the soldier. However, certain factors (heroism, patriotism, voluntary and hatred of enemies) present significant intra-group variations illustrating a difference between the North-East and the Center-East / South. Finally, a qualitative and lexicometric analysis is implemented. First, the analysis of a sample of articles (N=48) from the French site “centenaire.org” (Label Mission Centenaire 14-18). Then, the creation of an analysis grid allowed us to study the images (N=285) published on the same site. Our approach allowed us to test the hypothesis of the existence of a singular representation of the war according to the geographical location of the region concerned. On the one hand, the Grand-Est characterized by a memory of the front locally anchored across the landscapes marked forever. On the other, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, representative of the active rear in the decisive role where the memory passes by the reappropriation of testimonies.
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Brice Douffet. Le souvenir s’en va-t-en guerre : Mémoires & représentations sociales du soldat de 14-18. Psychologie. Université de Lyon, 2021. Français. ⟨NNT : 2021LYSE2002⟩. ⟨tel-03216799⟩

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