'Story of my life?' The contents and functions of reminiscing

Arlene Jean Astell, Barbara Purves, Alison Phinney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper we address three interconnected issues arising from the question: "how to support reminiscing?" The first issue examines why people reminisce, looking at the functions it serves both for the individual and the social group. The second issue relates to the types of stories people recollect and share, which may sometimes be difficult or distressing events in their lives and how to deal with these. This connects to the third issue examining the process of choosing materials such as photographs and artifacts to stimulate people to recollect and recount their personal stories. Our contributions to the workshop will be of interest to a wide range of researchers engaged in developing reminiscence systems, broadly defined, as we (i) draw on our experience with groups of younger and older adults from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds to address these three issues and (ii) offer suggestions arising from this work for how to deal with them
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBridging Practices, Theories, and Technologies to Support Reminiscence
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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