Sticky Cultures: Memory Publics and Communal Pasts in Competitive Chess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Although examinations of social memory have largely focused on societies and large populations, much remembrance occurs within bounded publics. This memory, especially when it is held in common, ties individuals to their chosen groups, establishing an ongoing reality of affiliation. I term this form of memory work as sticky culture, recognizing the centrality of the linkage of selves and groups. To examine how sticky culture operates, I examine the social world of competitive chess with its deep history and rich literature. More specifically, I examine forms through which chess publics are cemented through remembrances of the past, focusing on the hero, the critical moment, and validated styles. Champions, memorable games, and recognized strategies establish a lasting public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-414
Number of pages20
JournalCultural Sociology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • chess
  • collective memory
  • communal
  • community
  • culture
  • groups
  • leisure
  • memory
  • tiny publics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Sticky Cultures: Memory Publics and Communal Pasts in Competitive Chess'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this