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Abstract

Past research in memory studies has indicated that there are social factors that influence who are more or less likely to recall certain events as important. Past research emphasizes age as one of the most important variables; however, when regarding memories of social movements, additional demographic factors such as gender, race, region, and education may have potential impacts. More so, past research has not studied the importance of these factors over time. This study re-analyzes the data collected by Schuman and Rodgers (2004) combined with the data collected by Schuman and Scott (1985), in which 5,294 people were asked to name two significant events in United States history since 1930. By studying the group that recalled the Women’s Movement of the 1960s and 1970s as significant, age was shown to be of slight significance in the 1985 survey, and of no significance in the 2000-2001 data. The influence of education, however, increased in significance by the later survey. Demographic factors such as gender, race, and region also were shown to have varying levels of influence. Together these findings indicate that demographic factors are important to consider when discussing the formation of memories of social movements. Secondly, as the temporal horizon increases, the importance of having experienced the particular social movement at a specific age decreases while the importance of education increases.