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Oral History and Narrative
chapterposted on 2023-05-22, 21:51 authored by Elaine StratfordElaine Stratford
Across peoples and cultures, diverse capacities to remember, reflect, and communicate, and the compulsion to understand the world in which we live gather as a combined force in storytelling and the use of narrative to hear and be heard. Oral history is a powerful qualitative research method to directly engage with and preserve the memories, stories, and knowledge of those still living. Using such field methods, practitioners are motivated to understand participants’ direct experiences of the lifeworld, of place, and of space and spatiality. Furthermore they are concerned with the ways in which those experiences illuminate other important issues and events which, in the past, have appeared unremarkable. Oral history’s capacity to uncover the extraordinary within the everyday empowers participants and audiences, and enables practitioners—geographers not least among them—to validate and value knowledge hitherto consigned to historical obscurity.
Publication titleInternational Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology
Department/SchoolSchool of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences
PublisherAssociation of American Geographers
Place of publicationWashington DC, USA