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Being nostalgic is a human characteristic that disturbs ones ability to enjoy the present or work on the future. More importantly however, is realizing that memory is imperfect and consequentially so is nostalgia. What we are nostalgic for can be skewed and what we wish for again is devoid of the pitfalls of the time of the memory. This claim is what was concluded after exploring the period of the Cold War which took place between 1945 and 1992 which happens to coincide with the years that surveys have shown are times people are most nostalgic for. This paper aims to understand the dissonance between cold war realities and cold war memories by tracking ideologies, ruling ideologies, how they were proliferated, and what these ideologies were created to hide. Through the examination of two atomic cities, Oak Ridge and Model City, this paper finds that nostalgia is an experience reseved for those who are privileged– specifically for white people of the upper class status. Even further, it suggests that the trouble we have with moving to a truly post racial society stems from nostalgia resulting from successful cold war propaganda campaigns. Current hostile sentiments regarding people of colour, refugees, and immigrants may originate from nostalgia that was manipulated to make a cleansed, white society seem like the safe and healthy society.


Regional Winner in Social Sciences: Sociology & Social Policy

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