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Nostalgia as a way of creating meaning in everyday life

Olivier Rieter

Brandevoort (photo Maria Wermenbol)


Many people consider nostalgia as a universal emotion, although others see it as secondary, culturally acquired.i It can be argued that nostalgia, in one way or another, is known to almost all people in the West. Reverting to nostalgic feelings and thoughts can be seen as part of a compensation strategy in times of threatening rapid changes, common to the modern world.ii

In this article nostalgia is discussed as a way of creating meaning in everyday life. How can nostalgia contribute to a feeling of well being and a sense of self-directedness in the present? Is the approach of a nostalgic person authentic, or is he or she deceiving him- or herself? First I’ll discuss the concept of nostalgia and the way it is meaningful according to some scholars.Consequently I will describe how nostalgic living and nostalgic remembrance can contritbute to a pleasant feeling in the present. Then I will discuss depictions of nostalgia in everyday life in two television series. What do these series tell us about the functioning of nostalgia in current society? In the remainder of the article I’ll discuss nostalgia in relation to religion. Can nostalgia be seen as a substitute for religion?

Definitions of nostalgia

There are many definitions of nostalgia.The following description of consumer researcher Morris Holbrook may be helfpul. Nostalgia is: ‘a preference (general liking, positive attitude, or favourable affect) towards objects (people, places, or things) that were more common (popular, fashionable, or widely circulated) when one was younger (in early adulthood, in adolescence, in childhood, or even before birth).’iii According to this definition one can be nostalgic for a period one hasn’t lived through. This has been described as ‘vicarious nostalgia’iv or ‘armchair nostalgia.’v I would like to add to the nostalgic objects in Holbrooks definition values and ideas on life, intangible aspects of existence. A shorter definition of the concept was formulated by sociologists Pickering and Keightly: nostalgia is ‘the composite feeling of loss, lack and longing.’vi Nostalgia is an ambivalent feeling of pleasure about the past, but it has also to do with the sense that the past can never be returned to.

Nostalgia can be both individual and collective. People from the same generation look back in similar ways to music, films, clothes and hairstyles of a certain period. They share their collective memories.

Nostalgia has to do with identity and emotion. It has been described by cultural scholar Stuart Tannock as an example of Raymond Williams’ concept ‘structure of feeling’. It: ‘invokes a positively evaluated past world in response to a deficient present world. The nostalgic subject turns to the past to find/construct sources of identity, agency or community, that are felt to be lacking, blocked, subverted, or threatened in the present.’vii Nostalgia is often seen as ‘pathological, regressive, and delusional.’viii But according to Tannock it may have very positive functions. It may give someone ‘a sense of continuity over and above her sense of separation, and from this continuity [she] may be able to replenish a sense of self, of participation, of empowerment, belonging, righteousness or justification, direction.’ix

According to media scholar Paul Grainge there is a difference between nostalgia as a ‘mood’ and as a stylized form of pastness, a ‘mode’ that isn’t necessarily linked to loss and longing.’x Historian Peter Fritzsche calls the latter:‘nostalgia without melancholy’xi

Cultural Scholar Sean Scanlan is more positive about the phenomenon. He writes:‘Like forgetting, nostalgia also has the property of meandering away from the truthful, historical, or the precise, which is why many late twentieth-century critiques describe it as connoting a mistake or an evasion. In current criticism, however, nostalgia as warning, as pejorative marker of certain historical changes, has given way to nostalgia as a more ambivalent, more engaged, critical frame. Now, nostalgia may be a style or design or narrative that serves to comment on how memory works. Rather than an end reaction to yearning, it is understood as a technique for provoking a secondary reaction.’xii

Politicologist Kimberly Smith states: ‘To experience a memory nostalgically is not just to have certain feelings along with that memory, but to adopt a particular attitude toward it: to understand memory and its associated feelings as the product of a psychological propensitity to romanticize the past.’xiii Nostalgia is not just a feeling but also a cognitive processs.

Nostalgia and meaning

Nostalgia has developed in meaning since the concept was created by a Swiss physician in the seventeenth century. From a feeling of homesickness it changed to a feeling of pleasant loss. Where homesickness doesn’t seem to have any positive elements, nostalgia is often used in a positive manner.‘Family and friends, as well as beliefs, accomplishments, and experiences may provide the ingredients to a life full of meaning, but nostalgia is how people actually make meaning,’xiv the psychologists Routledge, Sedikides, Wildschut and Juhl write. According to them nostalgia can contribute to a positive feeling about the self. It also makes meaning creation possible and feelings of continuity in times of rapid changes.

In her influential book 'The future of nostalgia' literature scholar Svetlana Boym writes about two types of nostalgia. One is called ‘restorative nostalgia’ and is described negatively as a way of dealing with a transhistorical reconstruction of the lost home. The other is ‘reflective nostalgia’ which makes people think about the ambivalences of their own longing.xv It thus helps people to contemplate about their identity. Boym writes: ‘Reflective nostalgia is concerned with historical and individual time, with the irrevocability of the past and human finitude. Re-flection means new flexibility, not the reestablishment of stasis. The focus here is not on the recovery of what is perceived to be an absolute truth, but on the meditation on history and the passage of time. Nostalgics of this kind are often, in the words of Vladimir Nabokov, ‘’amateurs of Time, epicures of duration,” who resist the pressure of external efficiency and take sensual delight in the texture of time not measurable by clocks and calendars.’xvi

Sociologist Janelle Wilson stresses the importance of thinking about one’s past: ‘Placing oneself -in the past, present, and projecting in to the future- is vital to each of us. The experience and expression of nostalgia need not be merely an escape, nor does the past need to be viewed as static. Individuals decide -in the present- how to recall the past and, in this process, imbue the past with meaning, which had evolved over time and is relevant in the present.’xvii Wilson in her book 'Nostalgia. Sanctuary of meaning' further develops the theories of fellow-sociologist Fred Davis about nostalgia as helpful to the continuity of identity in his classic book 'Yearning for yesterday'xviii Wilson takes a sociological approach, whereas this article is based on insights from cultural studies.

The Italian psychologists Bellelli and Amatulli state that for the elderly nostalgically looking back on their pasts, or reconstructing their pasts, is healthy: it strengthens their identity and gives them a reason to look back on their life with pleasure. As a result they are both happier to have lived and happier with their current life.xix

Celebration and Brandevoort

Nostalgia is about the acceptance of the past. This acceptance has more to do with an idea of 'pastness' than with the actual past. The abstract idea of ‘pastness’xx is made concrete in the new, old town Celebration in the US. Celebration is a small town of fake old buildings in Florida. The project was developed by The Walt Disney Company. Architecture scholar Nicole Sully writes: ‘Conceived in the 1990s, Celebration was designed around a fictionalised representation of pre-1940s small town America, using nostalgia for a mythologised past to create a sense of comfort, community and conformity among its residents.’xxi She adds: ‘It was intended as an attempt to redress the alienation of the modern American city, both socially and physically.’xxii According to Sully people actually living in this theme park-like space are interested in the perceived golden Age of the American past and in community- and family values.xxiii


The outside communication of the community confirms the impression of old fashioned beliefs. On its website the following statement can be read: ‘We want to get to know you. If you’ve visited Celebration, it’s likely that our residents have already helped you feel this way. Perhaps it was a simple smile someone shared as they passed by on the street. Maybe it was a friendly chat you had with a stranger while shopping. There’s a reason Celebration is not a town, but a community in every positive sense of the word. While the population is diverse, the residents share a strong community spirit and a desire for a friendship with their neighbours.’xxiv An inviting, not ironic picture is painted of friendly people who live in relaxed circumstances in a time before the rapid changes in society. Togetherness is stressed: ‘More than anything else, what the residents of Celebration have in common is a shared vision for what life could be, with the ability to become as personally involved as they want in making it happen. This leads to a deep level of interaction between friends and neighbours that provides the very heartbeat of the community. Whether in public spaces, at community events, Town Meetings or simply on a neighbor’s front porch, you’ll find an unmistakable sense of community and feeling of togetherness throughout Celebration. The memories and bonds of friendship that result are the glue that holds Celebration together, ensuring a bright, long-lasting future.’xxv

Sully writes about the unauthentic nature of the place: ‘Celebration, like Disneyland, is a nostalgic vision of a popularised interpretation of the past, its architectural forms are borrowed, manipulated and decontextualised –geographically, culturally and temporally - to instil an aesthetic and psychological sense of rational order and civilised purity,’xxvi Sully furthermore states that Celebration ‘is a community built both aesthetically and ideologically on nostalgia.’xxvii People living their everyday life in Celebration are experiencing a fabrication of the past that nevertheless is beneficial to many of them. The question can be posed however if they are living a dream of self deception. A question which some will answer like this: ‘Does it matter? If the place creates happniness, what’s the problem?’

Comparable to Celebration, but possibly somewhat less ideological is Brandevoort, a neighbourhood of the Southern Dutch town Helmond. Helmond is a former industrial town of which the town officials wanted to create a new image, an alternative past.xxviii The result can be called ‘image repositioning’ A more favourable impression of the place was created.xxix The building styles of Brandevoort make this new location look like an old village from the province Noord-Brabant in the 17th or 18th centuries. But there is also room for twentieth century architecture, not more recent than before the last World War however. One of the attractions of Brandevoort is a cast iron Victorian market hall.

Architect Rob Krier wanted to create in Brandevoort an unmodern place that is liveable and that supports identity There has been a lot of criticism. Brandevoort has been called a film set or the Disneyland of Brabant. Its architecture was referred to as falsifying, reactionary and kitsch.xxxi

In an interview the colleague of Krier, Christoph Kohl, mentions the globalization as one of the sources of the need for traditional living. The living space of people should have the feel of a safe haven, an idyllic spot. ‘Home is not necessarily a geographic place, but a feeling.’xxxii It is a feeling of connectedness, warm social values and old-fashioned ‘gezelligheid’ (cosiness). Elements of a perceived past are selected and rearranged into something both old and new.

Nostalgic therapeutic memories

Selective memories are important in another usage of nostalgia, that in ‘memory museums’ for the elderly. In the Netherlands the humanistic organization Humanitas has created such a memory museum in Rotterdam. In it the sounds, smells and visual sensations of the past are simulated. Elderly people can re-experience some part of their pasts and they can tell their children and grandchildren how life has been for them. It is a selection of the past that stimulates memories about everyday life. The sharing element is very important for Humanitas. Its philosophy is about the creation of happiness for groups enjoying the togetherness of extended families.xxxiii It is about ‘social sharing.’xxxiv Nostalgia is a social emotion that symbolically strengthens the links to other people.xxxv According to Humanitas it is possible to actively create nostalgia by stimuli from the past. This is a different process from the involuntary memories famously described by Marcel Proust. The taste of a Madeleine took him back to his youth. Different stimuli have different effects. It has been remarked and researched that smells create more emotional memories than visual stimuli and sounds. But the details and vividness of the memories are the same for all three of them.xxxvi So they can all be used in the active creation of theraupeutic nostalgia, a step further than Proust took, who became nostalgic without planning to. Smells, sounds and images from the past can of course also stimulate intense negative memories, or the reliving of trauma’s, so they create not necesarilly happiness, although the dealing with negative elementes may be therapeutic too.xxxvii

Another method in which nostaliga can be used is the telling or writing of life stories. According to life writing coach José Fransen the actual facts of a life aren’t important in this method, it is about the experience of the past.xxxviii According to modern psychological views not the reliability of the memories is important, but the fact that in old age the past is remembered at all.xxxix

Can the past be simulated? (Photo: Maria Wermenbol)

An ambitious project is the website There all people of the world are invited to leave their life stories. ‘Together we are creating a global community and heritage by linking together Stories of everyone. When you write the Story of your Life, you are participating in this collective historical anthology by leaving behind a Legacy of yourself - your footprint upon this earth.’xl The site has a very social approach: ‘By connecting your Story to Family, Friends, Groups of Interest and others, you paint a vivid, panoramic view of your life, including those who mean something to you.’xli The writing of life stories thus connects different generations. People are made to define how they want to be remembered and what their pasts mean to them. By the selection of events they describe their past is actively transformed.

A depiction of every day nostalgia: Back to Oosterdonk

The selection of certain elements from the past plays a role in nostalgic television too. Idealizing television programmes can reflect the views in society on the role of the past in everyday life in the present. An example of a combination of fabrication and idealisation of the past is the television series Back to Oosterdonk (Terug naar Oosterdonk). This was a Flemish series in 1997. It was broadcasted in the Netherlands by KRO. It is a a nostalgic story about rural Flemish villages that have disappeared after industrialisation.The traditional beliefs and customs of such villages are shown. The series was received well. At the moment of writing it had a score of 8.2. on the Internet Movie Database.xlii

Back to Oosterdonk was directed by Frank van Passel and the script was by Guido van Meir. The fictitious Oosterdonk was modelled partly on the past of former villages like Oosterweel, Wilmarsdonk, Astruweel, Oorderen and Lillo.xliii The flashback part of the story is situated in the 1950s before the village had to disappear due to the expansion of the nearby harbour. One of the striking aspects is that the pictures of the present are somewhat grey and the flashbacks are more colourful. In the historical reconstruction of the Flemish past a lot of attention was paid to details. Screenplay writer Van Meir wanted to write about real people who lived their everyday lives in the 1950s. The series can, according to Van Meir, be seen as an equivalent of the nostalgic Dutch book of the popular journalist Geert Mak about the disappearance of old fashioned life in the Frisian village of Jorwerd.xliv

In the story a lot of colourful characters play a role, like Little Peter the liar (Pietje de leugenaar) who is a modern day wizard. Pictures of pub visits, festivities, a cycling race and folklore (like goose pulling) play an imporant part in the looking back of the main character, whose father just died, an event that prompted nostalgic memories in him.

The series is fantasy in the sense that a fictitious past is shown of a fictitious place, but it can be called ‘authentic fantasy.’xlv An imaginary world is created, which has strong connections to the Flemish village life of the past however. It is nostalgic fantasy with magical realism elements in it. Due to the idealisation and selective representation of the past Back to Oosterdonk can be seen as an example of traditional nostalgia, rather than pure invention.

‘Back then happiness was very common’ comedy series

Like in Flanders nostalgia has been popular on Dutch television starting in the nineties. A nostalgia channel exists and there are a lot of programmes on various channels which are looking back to the glowingly described past, especially programmes about recent eras like the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties. Also programs like 'Class mates' (Klasgenoten) and The reunion (de reünie) can be seen as nostalgic. Sometimes those programs are somewhat ironic, when people look back on their past in a self-reflexive humorous way. Humour and nostalgic traditions are not a self-evident combination. In the United States, there have been, however, some famous nostalgic television comedy series such as 'Happy days' and 'Wonder years.' The Dutch comedy series 'Back then happiness was very common' (Toen was geluk heel gewoon) was based on the American CBS series the Honeymooners of the 1950s.xlvi The KRO- series, that started in 1994 and was broadcasted until 2009, is about the everyday life and the values and traditions of the man in the street in the late fifties, sixties and early seventies. Like in 'Back to Oosterdonk' the past is idealized. The series, which pays careful attention to the details of existence in the past, is about a conservative bus driver, his rather progressive wife and his neighbour and best friend. Social values of times gone-by are depicted.

The reactions to the series were mixed, but it had many viewers and in 1999 it received a ‘Televizier Ring’, an important television prize in the Netherlands. On the Internet Movie Database the series has a score of 6.2 currently.xlvii

The series is about a less complicated life in a time before the information age. It is about togetherness and cosiness. The dated humour is connected to more innocent days. The recognizable problems of everyday life in the past are described, from the need of getting a promotion, a meeting with the company psychologist, the appearance in a television quiz, or the accidental eating of dog food. The life of years gone-by is made to look more pleasant than current Dutch life in a multicultural society. The ideology of Back then happiness was very common is very conservative: be happy with what you’ve got, don’t strive for improvement, just accept your life seems to be the message. The importance of family life and friendships is stressed. The oldfashioned drawings at the start of every episode and the nostalgic Jackie Gleason music create an athmosphere of togetherness. It is a selection of elements that make the past look more wholesome than the present. In the first season of the series there are references to famous persons and enterprises from social life and popular culture of years gone-by, from famous cyclist Wim van Est, singers Mieke Telkamp and Teddy Scholten to the vanished publication 'De Katholieke Illustratie' and the vanished Simon de Wit supermarkets. According to the series publicity writer the viewer takes pleasure out of the fact that he or she knows how society has changed since then, partly for the better.xlviii

Scene from 'Back then happiness was very common'

Nostalgia: new religion or self-deception?

Nostalgia can be meaningful to people when they look back to their lives. It is not always healthy to relive trauma’s. Looking back in a nostalgic way can strengthen a person psychologically. It can add to a sense of wellbeing and the feeling that a life is or has been meaningful. Nostalgia can support a person in accepting his or her existence and approach to life. Societal bonds are important in this. A sense of togetherness in everyday life is overall important.

For a traditional historian however, nostalgia is a less satisfying phenomenon. History in this type of memories is falsified. The pictures of the past in the minds of many people don’t have much to do with the actual harsh living circumstances of (recent) history.

Fake church in Brandevoort (Photo Maria Wermenbol)

Nostalgia has been described as a new form or replacement of religion in everyday social It may be seen as a secular, humanistic approach, or a filter of existence, by which individuals create meaning by thinking about themselves and earlier genereations in positive terms. Emotion is very important in nostalgia. It has to do with how the past feels in the present. It is both about how people experience their lives and about a way in which social bonds are meaningfully incorporated in life stories.

In nostalgic processes the past is revered and given meaning to. It is about devotion that might indeed be as described rather religious. In religion the cognitive, rational aspect sometimes ‘loses out’ to unconditional beliefs in the greatness of some superior being(s). In nostalgia the cognitive aspect of it is mixed with emotion, instead of religious beliefs. A difference, between nostalgia and religion, it has been remarked, is that religion is forward looking and it thus offers hope, which nostalgia doesn’t.lvi

Svetlana Boym writes: ‘Modern nostalgia is a mourning for the impossibility of mythical return, for the loss of an “enchanted world” with clear borders and values. It could be a secular expression of a spiritual longing, a nostalgia for an absolute, for a home that is both physical and spiritual, for the edenic unity of time and space before entry into history. The nostalgic is looking for a spiritual addressee. Encountering silence, he looks for memorable signs, desperately misreading them.’lvii

The question if people deceive themselves by using nostalgia is important. As stated, its transforming aspect makes the concept unhistorical. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is unhelpful. On the contrary: it creates identity and social ties. It can also be stated that all ways of dealing with the self and the truth (not just the nostalgic ones) are deceptive in a way. Because identity creation is always about rearrangement of facts, feelings and thoughts.


Nostalgia is about what, somewhat ironically, could be called ‘rearranged integrity.’lviii The past is used in a manner that creates meaning in everyday life. The nostalgic representation of the past and its traditions is not always seen as authentic; the filtering of history is critically dealt with in reflective nostalgia. It helps people to think about their role in life and in dealing with their past. People in the modern world use nostalgia as a defence mechanism for threatening realities of globalization and mass communication.

Some people choose to live in nostalgic looking environments. They experience this ‘pastness’ as pleasant and helpful in social bonding.

In depictions of everyday life in television series nostalgia can play an idealizing role. The past is looked back on as more wholesome than the present. A feeling of cosiness and a spririt of togetherness are central issues in such series.

The visiting of remembrance museums or the writing of life stories can help people to see their past in a positive manner and to connect with others. These examples show that people use the past in various ways to strengthen their identities. Nostalgia is thus helpful in the transformation, creation, recovery and maintenance of traditions that connect people to each other.

i For a general discussion of the opinions on uiversaltiy and nostalgia see: K. Smith, ‘Mere nostalgia: notes on a progressive paratheory’ in: Rhetoric & Public afffairs 3, nr. 4 (2000) 505-527, especially 507.

ii The historian Ed Jonker states that the past gives people guidance in a rapidly changing world. E. Jonker, ‘De betrekkelijkheid van het moderne historische besef’, BMGN 111 (1995) 30-46, 38.

iii M. Holbrook, ‘On The New Nostalgia: 'These Foolish Things’ and Echoes of the Dear Departed Past’ in: R. Browne en R. Ambrossetti (red.) Continuities in Popular Culture: The Present in the Past and the Past in the Present and Future (Bowling Green, 1993) Cited bij C. Goulding, ‘An exploratory study of age related vicarious nostalgia and aesthetic consumption’, in: Advances in Consumer Research Volume 29 (2003) 542-546, Last checked on 30 March 2012.

iv C. Goulding, ‘An exploratory study.’

v A. Appadurai, Modernity at large. The cultural dimensions of globalization (Minneapolis 1996) 78.

vi M. Pickering en E. Keigthly, ‘The modalities of nostalgia’ in Current Sociology 54, (2006), 919-941, 921.

vii S. Tannock, ‘Nostalgia critique’, in: Cultural Studies 9, 3 (October 1995) 453-464, 456.

viii Tannock, Nostalgia critique’, 457.

ix Tannock, ‘Nostalgia critique’, 458.

x P. Grainge, Monochrome memories. Nostalgia and style in retro America (Westport 2002) 6, 21-22.

xi P. Fritzsche, ‘Specters of history. On nostalgia, exile and modernity’, in: The American Historical Review 106, 5 (december 2001) 1587-1618, 1618.

xii S. Scanlan: ‘Introduction: nostalgia’, in: IOWA Journal of Cultural Studies 5, Laatst geraadpleegd op 11 november 2011.

xiii K. Smith, ‘Mere nostalgia. Notes on a progressive paratheory’, 509.

xiv C. Routledge, C. Sedikides, T. Wildschut en J. Juhl, ‘Finding meaning in one’s past. Nostalgia as an existential resource’ , in K. Markman, T. Proulx, & M. Lindberg (red.), The psychology of meaning.(Washington 2012), This file can be consulted at: Last checked 1 April 2012..

xv S. Boym, The future of nostalgia (New York 2001) xviii

xvi S. Boym ‘Nostalgia and its discontent’,, last checked on 5 april 2012.

xvii J. Wilson, Nostalgia. Sanctuary of meaning (Cranbury 2005) 7.

xviii F. Davis, Yearning for yesterday. A sociology of nostalgia (New York 1979).

xix G. Bellelli and M. Amatulli, ‘Nostalgia, immigration and collective memory’, in: J. Pennebaker, D. Paez and B. Rimé (eds.), Collective memory of political events (Mahwah 1997) 209-222, 216-217.

xx For a discussion of pastness see: P. Fowler, The past in contemporary society. Then, now (London/New York 1992).

xxi N. Sully, ‘An everyday nostalgia: memory and the fictions of belonging’, in: M. Gibson, D. Rodan, F. Newman, R. Blaber, W. Parkins, G. Craig and C. Gordon, Everyday Transformations. Cultural StudiesAssociation of Australasia (CSAA) Annual Conference, (Perth2004)pp. 1-20, 2.

xxii Sully, ‘An everyday nostalgia: memory and the fictions of belonging,’3.

xxiii Ibidem.

xxiv Last checked on 29 march 2012.

xxv Last checked on 29 march 2012.

xxvi N. Sully, ‘An everyday nostalgia: memory and the fictions of belonging’, 16.

xxvii Idem, 5.

xxviii E. Ennen, Wonen in gecreëerd erfgoed. Belevingen en bindingen in Brandevoort (Utrecht 2004), 23.

xxix Fowler, The past in contemporary society, 125.

xxx A. Sonndervan, De mythe van Brandevoort. Oprechte waardering voor het verleden of gemakzuchtige citatencultuur (Amsterdam 2005), 20. Last checked on 30 March 2012.

xxxi ‘Brandevoort buiten Brandevoort’, Brandevoort Magazine 2, 2 (March 2012) 40-43, 43.

xxxii Idem, 42.

xxxiii H. Becker, Open de luiken van uw geheugen (Rotterdam 2007) 5.

xxxiv H. Becker, Verboden af te blijven! Het herinneringsmuseum. Spiegel van Humanitas’ zorgfilosofie (Delft 2008) 25.

xxxv F. Cordaro, ‘Sentimenteel verlangen naar het verleden. Nostalgie en psychologie’, in: O. Rieter (ed), Nostalgie. Met een roze bril omgaan met het verleden (Utrecht 2010) 14-19, 19.

xxxvi C. van Campen, Gekleurd verleden. Verhalen over het geheugen van de zintuigen (Utrecht 2010) 35.

xxxvii Van Campen, Gekleurd verleden, 165.

xxxviii Last checked on 1 April 2012.

xxxix D. Draaisma, De heimweefabriek (Groningen 2008) 64.


xli Idem.


xliii Last checked on 31 March 2012.

xlivF. Lammers, ‘Guido van Meir’, Trouw 22 November 1997,

xlv This term was used by archaeologist Peter Fowler in relation to heritage, Fowler, The past in contemporary society, 131

xlvi The cartoon series The Flintstones was also based on The Honeymooners.

xlvii Last checked on 31 March 2012.

xlviii Text on the DVD.

xlix H. Bos, ‘Het land van Ot en Sien komt niet meer terug’, Trouw, 20 December 2005, Last checked on 31 March 2012.

l, Last checked on 31 March 2012.

li Last checked on 31 March 2012.

lii P. Nissen, ‘Het rijke Roomse leven’, in: H. van den Eerenbeemt, Geschiedenis van Noord-Brabant. Deel 2: 1890-1945: emancipatie en industrialisering, (Amsterdam/Meppel 1996)317-333, 333

liii M. van de Plas, Uit het rijke Roomsche Leven, een documentaire over de jaren 1925-1935, (Utrecht 1963)

liv E.g: J. Botermans and W. van Grinsven, Herinneringen aan het rijke Roomse leven. Volkdevotie van toen (Arnhem 2007)

lv P. Scheffer, Het land van aankomst (Amsterdam 2007) 188.

lvi J. Kennedy, ‘Hedendaags onehagen’, in: De Gids 175, 2012/3, 6-8,8.

lvii Boym, ‘Nostalgia and its discontents’ last checked on 5 april 2012.

lviii A term used by Fowler, The past in contemporary society 126.


Appadurai, A., Modernity at large. The cultural dimensions of globalization (Minneapolis 1996)

Becker, H., Open de luiken van uw geheugen (Rotterdam 2007)

Becker, H., Verboden af te blijven! Het herinneringsmuseum. Spiegel van Humanitas’ zorgfilosofie (Delft 2008)

Bellelli, G. and M. Amatulli, ‘Nostalgia, immigration and collective memory’, in: J. Pennebaker, D. Paeze en B. Rime (eds.), Collective memory of political events (Mahwah 1997) 209-222.

Bos, H. ‘Het land van Ot en Sien komt niet meer terug’, Trouw 20 December 2005

Boym, S., The future of nostalgia (New York 2001)

Boym, S., ‘Nostalgia and its discontent’,

Campen, C. van, Gekleurd verleden. Verhalen over het geheugen en de zintuigen (Utrecht 2010)

Cordaro, F., ‘Sentimenteel verlangen naar het verleden. Nostalgie en psychologie’, in: O. Rieter (ed.), Nostalgie. Met een roze bril omgaan met het verleden (Utrecht 2010) 14-19

Davis, F.. Yearning for yesterday. A sociology of nostalgia (New York 1979)

Draaisma, D., De heimweefabriek (Groningeen 2008)

Ennen, E., Wonen in gecreëerd erfgoed. Belevingen en bindingen in Brandevoort (Utrecht 2004)

Fowler, P., The past in contemporary society. Then, now (London/New York 1992)

Fritzsche, P., ‘Specters of history. On nostalgia, exile and modernity’, in: The American Historical Review 106 (December 2001) 1587-1618.

Goulding, C., ‘An exploratory study of age related vicarious nostalgia and aesthetic consumption’, in: Advances in Consumer Research 29 (2003) 542-546

Grainge, P., Monochrome memories. Nostalgia and style in retro America (Westport 2002)

Jonker, E. , ‘De betrekkelijkheid van het moderne historische besef’ BMGN 111 (1995) 30-46.

Kennedy, J., ‘Hedendaags onbehagen’, in: De Gids 175, 2012/3, 6-8.

Lammers, F., ‘Guido van Meir’ Trouw 22 November 1997

Nissen, P., ‘Het rijke Roomse leven’in: H. van den Eerenbeemt, Geschiedenis van Noord-Brabant. Deel 2: 1890-1945: emanicpatie en industrialisering (Amsterdam/Meppel 1996) 317-333

Pickering, M. and E. Keightly,’The modalities of nostalgia’, in: Current sociology 54 (2006) 919-941

Plas, M. van de Plas, Uit het Rijke Roomsche Leven, een documentaire over de jaren 1925-1935 (Utrecht 1963)

Rieter, O. (ed.), Nostalgie. Met een roze bril omgaan met het verleden (Utrecht 2010)

Routledge, C. S. Sedikides, T. Wildschut and J. Juhl, ‘Finding meaning in one’s past. Nostalgia as an existential source’ in: K. Markman, T. Proulx and M. Lindberg, The psychology of meaning (Washington 2012),

Scanlan, S., ‘Introduction: nostalgia’, in: IOWA Journal of cultural Studies 5,

Scheffer, P., Het land van aankomst (Amsterdam 2007)

Smith, K., ‘Mere nostalgia: notes on a progressive paratheory’, in: Rethoric & Public affairs, 3, nr. 4 (2000) 505-527

Sondervan, A. , De mythe van Brandevoort. Oprechte waardering voor het verleden of gemakzuchtige citatencultuur (Amsterdam 2005),

Sully, ‘An everyday nostalgia: memory and the fictions of belonging’, in: M. Gibson, D. Rodan, F. Newman, R.Blaber, W,. Parkins,G. Craig and C. Gordon, Everyday Transformations. Culture Studies Association of Australasia (CSAA) Annual conference (Perth 2004), 1-20,

Tannock, S. ‘Nostalgia critique’ in: Cultural Studies 9, 3 (October 1995) 453-464

Wilson, J. Nostalgia. Sanctuary of meaning (Cranbury 2005)

See for the opinion of writer Jonathan Lethem on nostalgia: here

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