The present work presents and discusses the results of a study into the memories and the social representations of the Military Regime in Rio de Janeiro. Data consisted of free associations based on the prompting term "Military Regime", produced and ranked in order of importance by 200 adult subjects who lived through this period when they were young, 202 elderly subjects who experienced it as adults, and 432 young people who never witnessed it. Data analysis involved a combination of the frequency of the themes evoked and the order of importance attributed to them. The results of the three age groups are markedly different. Adults exhibited a concise, consistent and critical memory; the more elderly demonstrated less consistency and less criticism; young people seem more critical than adults, but in a loose and imprecise fashion. The analysis of each age group evidenced statistically significant differences among the contributions of those subsets with different political orientations and with different levels of education.
Generations; Memory; Social perception