Renewed interest in collective memory has raised the need for conceptual elaboration of the topic and how it can be studied. In an attempt to clarify how it fits into interdisciplinary discussion the following conceptual oppositions are laid out: memory versus remembering, collective versus individual remembering, history versus collective memory, and strong versus distributed versions of collective remembering. Collective memory is then analyzed from the perspective of M. M. Bakhtin's understanding of ‘text’ in which a ‘language system’ is contrasted with an ‘individual, unique, and unrepeatable’ pole of textual analysis. These ideas are harnessed to examine forms of dialogicality that shape collective memory, especially in politically contested cases such as Estonian and Russian accounts of conflict over the past century.
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