PhD Candidate Joshua Harold on collective memory and residential choices

November 6, 2017 by Kathy Tang

PhD Candidate Joshua Harold recently co-authored an article with Professor Eric Fong that was published in the Ethnic and Racial Studies journal. The article examines the influence of collective memory on the residential choices of the Jewish population in Toronto.

Joshua is currently completing his dissertation, Mnemonic Boundaries: Historical Experience and Ethnic Boundary Making supervised by Professor Fong.

The citation and abstract for the paper are included below.

Harold, J., & Fong, E. (2017). Mobilizing memory: collective memory schemas and the social boundaries of Jews in Toronto. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1-19. doi:10.1080/01419870.2017.1344719

This paper examines how collective memory informs residential choices by analysing the residential patterns of Jews in Toronto. Our study extends the literature on collective memory and ethnic boundaries to include understandings about how our socio-historical and cultural worlds shape our environment and give it meaning. We argue that collective memory functions symbolically within Jewish neighbourhoods to reproduce meanings about group status and belonging as well as to direct association patterns that manifest as durable residential enclaves. Our findings show how residential clustering patterns reflect the behavioural consequences of the group’s collective memory. Through an in-depth qualitative analysis, we identify four collective memory schemas for ethnic residential clustering which serve as prominent scripts that shape the Jewish residential landscape in Toronto.