What is the social/psychological function of nostalgia?
February 13, 2014 3:39 PM Subscribe
I'm asking specifically for nostalgia for a time before you were born, i.e. the Blitz parties/40s tea dances that have big in the UK for the past decade, or the popularity of Speakeasy-themed bars in the US. I'm thinking of nights that require you to dress in theme specifically and celebrate that time.
posted by everydayanewday to Human Relations (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I was discussing it with a friend today and I said it seems like it's a way to participate in something your grandparents did, that strengthens your bonds to your own family, but she (rightly) replied that her own grandma had never been to a dance, she'd been too poor. It seems to me like when we're at the tea dance or in the speak or whatever, we're doing something more than faithfully re-enacting the things our forebears did, but I'm not sure what that is or why. Are we celebrating the best bits and leaving the rest behind? Are we thoughtlessly celebrating a time of awful gender and racial inequality? Does anyone have any insight into this kind of nostalgia, the nostalgia for things you've never experienced yourself, and the act of participating in themed events, and what functions that has socially/psychologically?