Archive for September, 2012

Journal 4

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The Thompson reading and the Yow reading for chapters 3-6 were very similar. Both readings consisted of interview techniques to better your interview. Thompson said in the article that although it does take particular skills to provide a useful interview, that one can learn these traits as well, such as: “an interest and respect for people as individuals, and flexibility in response to them” (223). Obviously as a student, it is easy to try to do that, but it is easier said than done. When you are in the situation, one might find it more difficult. Obviously it is very important to listen while doing the interview. I think this weeks readings showed the importance of that. The Anderson and Jack article is about the importance of listening in an interview. The article goes over listening techniques, which will be valuable when we are doing our interviews. In that article I found it interesting when Anderson discussed how sometimes there are discrepancies when doing the transcripts and remembering the interview. I had never really thought about that before, how when you are transcribing the interview, that you may remember some thing different by how the narrators mannerisms were. In the Yow book reading and the Morrissey reading they both discussed the importance of setting up your question with background information. This can be valuable for the narrator, to help understand the context and importance of the question. The Kikumura article was also interesting about her being too close to her interview and to the story. Since I am interviewing my boyfriend’s grandmothers this thought also occurred to me. (269)

 

According to the readings, why is the method of interviewing so important?

Week 6 Primary Source

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The link below goes to a picture form archives.gov.  The picture shows an American flag waving with holes in it.  The caption reads: “…We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain…” At the bottom in big letters it has “Remember December 7th!”  I chose this image because I believe it will relate to my focus of my interviews and may be used in my homefront website.

 

http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/photos/images/ww2-07.jpg

Week 6 Response

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The readings gave really helpful advice about the process of interviewing.  Each reading included various techniques and some even listed dos and don’ts of the interviewing process.  Many of the readings also discussed the rapport an interviewer should have with their interviewee.  In the “Life History” reading, the interviewer was interviewing their mom so it was a very successful interview do to the family relationship.  The mom disclosed information to her daughter that she wouldn’t have told anyone else.  A good rapport can lead to a very successful interview.  The readings sited several examples where an interview was so well done that the interview itself changed the lives of the interviewer.  In other times it was surprising how the interview did not effect their life as in the “Do I Like Them Too Much” reading.  This reading even gave an extreme example in which a man was able to get great interviews from monks because he took part in their practices during his time with them conducting interviews.

A huge theme in the reading was preparatrion and technique.  The readings suggested that you conduct a pre-interview by calling the interviewee and discuss your project.  You could then ask them about certain things they may want to talk about but making sure not to go into too much detail.  Another important thing mention was to know your facts before you begin the interview.  As far as technique, the reading said to be delicate, not to push too hard, be empathetic, carefully phrase your questions, no leading questions, no yes/no questions, use moral listening, look for meta statements, look for logic of narrative, and be an active listener.

 

(Word Count: 276)

Is asking a series of questions about the same topic leading the interviewee?

The New Spirit (1942)

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

This cartoon encouraged many patriotic Americans to pay their income tax in defeating the Axis. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5CKHLlwA7U[/youtube]

Journal Entry (10/1/12)

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

In Chapters 3 and 4 of her book, Valerie Yow discusses the kinds of questions that can be used in an in-depth, oral history interview. Her information is helpful in developing an interview guide. She briefly mentions the two-sentence format that is discussed in detail in Charles T. Morrissey’s article on the two-sentence format as an interviewing technique. This is an effective questioning technique because it provides clarity and context for the interviewee.

Both Yow and Thompson emphasize the importance of clarity in the oral history process. The interviewer must clarify the purpose of the research and the intent of the interview. Also, it is the interviewer’s responsibility to ask clear questions. In addition, it is also important to clarify certain words and phrases that the narrator uses in order to assure that there are no misunderstandings. (Simple but very useful tip is for the interviewer to keep a pad and pen to note names or words that may need clarification.)

As interviewers, we must be aware that in-depth interviews are works that are made between the narrator and the interviewer. In “Do I Like Them Too Much,” Yow points out indirectly that oral histories are co-creative processes. Additionally, Akemi Kikumura describes recording a life history as a collaborative venture. When doing interviews, we must be conscious that we also are part of the interview.  We need to listen actively, express empathy, and be non-judgmental. Also, it is important to be aware of both verbal and non-verbal actions for both the interviewer and the subject. (255 words)

Primary Source 4

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

This picture below was used during WWII concerning ration enforcements placed on people. As the sign shows, a woman carrying armfuls of food exclaiming because she is so patriotic she will gladly adopt the rationing system.

 

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.eatlocalchallenge.com/images/2008/07/31/of_course_i_can_wwii_poster.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.eatlocalchallenge.com/2008/08/community-canni.html&h=553&w=400&sz=37&tbnid=tlmINnC7OYl2XM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=65&zoom=1&usg=__8tYWixg9yrKzgGCLgyF0UJFOqx0=&docid=tWR9BPuoepFIWM&sa=X&ei=85doUNHePIHr0gHYwYHwDA&ved=0CCIQ9QEwAA&dur=8327

Primary Source 4

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/homefront/images/figures/homefront.news.owh.19410601.01.jpg

This is an article that I found that shows women working in the Great Plains during WWII. I think it is interesting because it shows a newspaper article with a picture during the war so it shows the women and the technology.

Kathleen Gillen with Bill Billotte, “Over Lush Nebraska Fields Soars Feminine Dawn Patrol,” The Great Plains during World War II,” University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2008. http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/homefront/homefront.news.owh.19410601.

Journal 4

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The readings this week helped me feel like I have a better grasp on interviewing as a practice. The Thompson reading touched on several interesting points regarding the type of influence the interviewer can assert on the interviewee. Additionally, it discusses different approaches for preparing for an interview. Some individuals tend to over prepare and include too much structure for the interview while others seem to have a much less direct approach and allow the interview to take whatever shape it may. Another idea that stuck out to me that I had not given much thought was the idea of the two person dynamic and how emotions can complicate an interviewer’s aspiration for certain sensitive information. The Kikumura Life History reading touched on how the relationship between the interviewer and interviewee can matter concerning disclosing private information to others. They referenced a family member vs. non family member relationships and I found this interesting because of my two upcoming interviews. One is a family member of mine while the other is a man I have had very limited interaction with. I’m certain the one on one dynamic will be noticeably different in the manner which he delivers his information to me compared to my grandmother. He may discuss and answers questions with me in a much more didactic sense than my grandmother will due to the nature of the two different relationship. After reading these assigned readings this week, I am now much more aware of certain intricacies that go along with various types of interviewee/interviewer relationships.

Journal

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

I found the Kikumura Life History document to be very interesting.  The affect that the relationship between the interviewer and the interviewee have on the information that is collected is something that we have been looking into and something that we need to pay special attention too.  It is good to note that he actually gets a quote from his mother saying that she would not have told some of her stories to anyone other then family and it seemed that it may have been a cultural idea.  I think it might also be important to note that there is a chance that she may not have told her son things because of the fact that he is family.

Some things that really stood out to me in Thompson’s Voice of the Past and Life History Guide were the different styles of interviewing.  I think I am the type of person who is going to feel like a certain amount of things need to be answered but some of these interviewing styles suggest just getting the interview rolling with a question and seeing where it ends up.  It seems like a bit of a risk because you don’t know if the person is going to even touch upon some of the things you may have been interested in and if they don’t then you may have missed out on valuable information.  Something that I thought was very helpful and that I will try and remember when interviewing is when he says,

“avoid asking questions which make informants think in your way rather than theirs. For example, when dealing with concepts like social class, your information is much stronger evidence if you encourage them to produce their own basic terms, and then use these in the subsequent discussion” (Thompson, 230).

I noticed this in the interview my partners and I read of Bobby Robbins.  There was a particular word used that I felt changed the way Mr. Robbins answered the question and how he referenced it for the remainder of the interview and I think it’s important to understand that the things we as the interviewer say can really impact the interviewee’s way of telling us information.

The Learning to Listen Interview Techniques and Analyses article was something I found to be very helpful.  I hadn’t thought about the fact that women might be uncomfortable trying to get sensitive information out of other women, but after reading a few examples I realized I would probably have changed the topic as well just due to comfort levels, but it’s something that I will need to be aware of.  I wouldn’t want to miss out on valuable information.

Discussion topic: After reading all of these, and the others that I didn’t have room to mention, I feel a little overwhelmed thinking that there are so many things I need to remember when it comes to the things I say and do during my interviews.  If there were one or two things above all else that we could take from all of these readings about improving our interviews what would they be? (word count: 520)

Primary Source

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

The primary source that I found this week is from the Library of Congress and their Veterans History Project.  This specific site interviews Vietnam Veterans.  They include people from all different military branches and an array of audio and/or video recordings.  It documents their time in the war and the effects that the war has had on them.

http://www.loc.gov/vets/stories/ex-war-vietnam50-part2.html