Oral History Reimagined: Emerging Research and Opportunities

Oral History Reimagined: Emerging Research and Opportunities

Sam Pack (Kenyon College, USA)
Release Date: March, 2020|Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 392
ISBN13: 9781799834205|ISBN10: 1799834204|EISBN13: 9781799834229|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3420-5


The traditional method of composing the life history as a flowing narrative is not only morally dishonest but also intellectually inadequate because it conveys the false impression of a chronologically timeless and uninterrupted soliloquy. They are highly processed, constructed, and reified. Questions have been removed, entire sections have been reordered, and redundancies have been deleted. After the multiple stages involved in transforming a narrative life into an inscribed text, the final product bears little resemblance to the original transcription of the interview. By focusing only on the final product, life histories ignore the other two components in the communicative process.

Oral History Reimagined: Emerging Research and Opportunities demonstrates the potential of the life history to serve as a new way of writing vulnerably about the “other” by refusing to hide the authors by sharing equal billing in a dialogic encounter with their informants in order to produce an ethnographic narrative that is multivocal, conversational, and co-constructed. The book examines the idea that a reflexive ethnography in the form of a reciprocal exchange between researchers and informants constitutes the logical extension of reflexivity in anthropological research. The book’s ultimate goal is a balance that dissolves the distinction between the ethnographer as theorizing being and the informant as passive data, that reduces the gap between subject and object, and that presents both ethnographer and informant as having active voices. Featuring topics on life histories, reflexive ethnography, and narrative structure of autoethnography, it is ideally designed for anthropologists, ethnographers, historians, policymakers, academicians, researchers, and students.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Autoethnography
  • Dialogue
  • Ethnographic Self
  • Ethnographic Techniques
  • Family Dynamics
  • Life Histories
  • Narrative Structure
  • Process and Producer
  • Reflexive Ethnography
  • Role of Anthropologist
  • Ventriloquist Effect

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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