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Collective Representation

Collective Representation is a term introduced by Emile Durkheim to refer to a symbol having a common intellectual and emotional meaning to the members of a group. Collective representations reflect the history of the group that is the collective experience of a group over time. They include not only symbols in the form of objects but also the basic concepts that determine the way in which one views and relates to the world.

Collective representation adds to that which we can learn by our personal experience all that wisdom and science which the group has accumulated in the course of centuries.

Collective representations express collective sentiments and ideas which give the group its unity and unique character. Thus they are an important factor contributing to the solidarity of a society or other social group.

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