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Author Biography

Hsin-Yi Yeh is an assistant professor at the Department of Sociology, National Taipei University. She is interested in collective memory, identity-remembering, political sociology, nationalism, cultural sociology, and cognitive sociology. Her work has been published in Qualitative Inquiry, Journal of Public Deliberation, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, Food, Culture, and Society, Symbolic Interaction, Nations & Nationalism, and Memory Studies.

Kuo-ming Lin is professor and chair of Sociology Department at National Taiwan University. His primary teaching interests are political sociology, contemporary theories of democracy, social and health policy, and historical sociology. His past research focused on Taiwan’s health politics and civic deliberation. Kuo-ming Lin has organized many events of citizen deliberation sponsored by the governments. He recently helped Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and Taipei City Government to design and implement participatory budgeting projects.

Abstract

This article brings the aspect of collective memories (and thus identity) back “in” to facilitate our understanding of the intriguing relationship among memories, places, and deliberative projects. While we observe that the memories of a place assign meanings to it and thereby not only imbue a “sense of place” to local members but also influence the process of deliberation, we claim that the process of deliberation can serve as a place-(re)making opportunity in a bottom-up way. Taking an experimental participatory budgeting (PB) program in Taiwan as an example, we find that collective memories play a role to influence what projects are proposed, what projects win the voting, and how people react to winning projects. In the case of South-Peak, on one hand, the winning projects echo aspects of prevailing commemorative narratives; on the other, the voting results further confirm, connect, and align the local collective memories. That is, a self-reinforcing process occurs. Additionally, we discuss how prevailing memories may change due to significant events so the meanings assigned to a specific place may thus change accordingly. Nevertheless, this is not to say that PB can only be conducted in places of strong memories and thus where a sense of place exists; since the deliberation process itself acts as a place-(re)making chance, we can expect PB to encourage the emergence and/or refreshment of collectivity during its own process.

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