Background. The authors of the paper enquire how the continuity and maintenance of social identity is carried out from generation to generation. Particular attention is drawn to the memory of the traumatic past of the group, such as repression and deportation, as they contradict the widespread view of social identity as a tool for achieving positive individual self-esteem based on a positive image of the group. The paper assumes that cultural memory being a link between the past, the present and the future of the social group ensures the continuity of social identity. Identity that includes the comprehension and experience of the negative past of the group is also considered.
Objective. The objective of this study is to justify the role of cultural memory as the basis of identification with the group and an empirical test of the relationship between the two constructs.
Design. A written questionnaire was offered to 296 people aged between 17 and 70 (M = 26.22, SD = 10.0) who identified themselves as Ingush. The respondents answered questions about their social identity (ethnic, civil and religious), assessed their experiences related to the deportation fact, and substantively argued the need to preserve the cultural memory of the deportation.
Conclusion. The data obtained show that the extent of identity within the group is positively correlated with the extent of the deportation experience, although these experiences are by no means positive (anger, insult, humiliation, heart pain, etc.), and also with the frequency of recalling the fact of deportation and desire to learn more about this event. The obtained results confirm the suggested assumption about the role of cultural memory and allow to develop further research on clarifying the relationship between cultural memory and social identity, assessing the impact of such additional factors as group emotions, psychological well-being, etc.