Oral history interviews allow us to document and chronicle people's stories; stories that might otherwise not be included in the historical record.— Patricia Leavy
The most stunning Patricia Leavy quotes that will activate your desire to change
As audiences, when we are exposed to oral history projects not only do we learn but in some ways we also bear witness to that which we have not experienced personally.
I had published a co-edited book with Oxford a decade ago, my first book actually. Years later I found myself having lunch with Lori Stone, who was an editor at Oxford at that time. We connected at a conference and over the course of lunch she told me about a wonderful new series she had just developed called Understanding Research.
Oral history is a research method. It is a way of conducting long, highly detailed interviews with people about their life experiences, often in multiple interview sessions. Oral history allows the person being interviewed to use their own language to talk about events in their life and the method is used by researchers in different fields like history, anthropology and sociology.
People must be able to use their voice, tell their stories, have their experiences recognized and their voices heard.
Moreover, it is so important that people have the opportunity to share their stories and have them documented. There have been large-scale oral history projects after many events, from September 11th to Hurricane Katrina. Many oral history projects are much more confined, but equally valuable. We can learn about different working conditions, living conditions, trauma experiences and much more through oral history.
There are always challenges with books , deciding what to include and what to omit.
I may be biased, but I think the cover art is stunning.
My book, Oral History: Understanding Qualitative Research is about how researchers use this method and how to write up their oral history projects so that audiences can read them. It's important that researchers have many different tools available to study people's lives and the cultures we live in. I think oral history is a most needed and uniquely important strategy.
There are many important books on oral history.
My book was the launch title in the Understanding Qualitative Research series with Oxford University Press. I think what makes my book and all of the series books unique is the emphasis on writing instruction for researchers who want to use the method being described.
I was invited. Oxford University Press is simply as prestigious a press as there is so when they come to your door and invite you to be a part of something like this, you say yes. It truly is an honor to work with them, particularly on a project as large as this one. The story of how they came to me is a good lesson though about the unexpected and creating new opportunities.
Students are often taught when to use a particular method and how to use it, but not how to effectively write up their research plan and then later their research results.