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Title: Remediating Viking origins: genetic code as archival memory of the remote past
Authors: Scully, Marc D.
King, Turi
Brown, Steven D.
Keywords: Collective memory
National identity
Popular history
Popular science
Population genetics
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Sage Publications / © The Author(s)
Citation: SCULLY, M.D., KING, T. and BROWN, S.D., 2013. Remediating Viking origins: genetic code as archival memory of the remote past. Sociology, 47 (5), pp. 921 - 938.
Abstract: This article introduces some early data from the Leverhulme Trust-funded research programme, ‘The Impact of the Diasporas on the Making of Britain: evidence, memories, inventions’. One of the interdisciplinary foci of the programme, which incorporates insights from genetics, history, archaeology, linguistics and social psychology, is to investigate how genetic evidence of ancestry is incorporated into identity narratives. In particular, we investigate how ‘applied genetic history’ shapes individual and familial narratives, which are then situated within macro-narratives of the nation and collective memories of immigration and indigenism. It is argued that the construction of genetic evidence as a ‘gold standard’ about ‘where you really come from’ involves a remediation of cultural and archival memory, in the construction of a ‘usable past’. This article is based on initial questionnaire data from a preliminary study of those attending DNA collection sessions in northern England. It presents some early indicators of the perceived importance of being of Viking descent among participants, notes some emerging patterns and considers the implications for contemporary debates on migration, belonging and local and national identity.
Description: This is an Open Access article published by Sage and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/)
Sponsor: The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Leverhulme Trust under Programme Grant F/00 212/AM.
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1177/0038038513493538
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/19559
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038513493538
ISSN: 0038-0385
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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