Journal 9

In Katherine Borland’s That’s Not What I Said: Interpretive Conflict in Oral Narrative Research, Borland states the oral narratives occur naturally. Oral historians just take those, record them, write them down, and analyze them. Feminist theory ties into the examination Borland’s grandmother’s narrative. Her story shows that horse racing was a male sphere and we can examine her grandmother as a figure in that sphere. Borland’s feminist interpretation of her grandmother’s story was her own, even though her grandmother believed that it changed her story. The concern is what historians do with the texts of narratives and how people interpret them. Everyone interprets history in his or her own way. In Richard Candida Smith’s Analytic Strategies for Oral History Interviews, Smith brings up that the narrator has analyzed their oral history. We then take that with primary/secondary sources to evaluate their narrative. We can use this because Smith looks at the different approaches we could take for analysis. For example, we can look at how the narrator stereotypes his or her self or how they viewed their role. It’s interesting that both Daniel James and Richard Smith use Paul Thompson’s The Voice of the Past and question the validity of a narrative. James also said, “oral testimony speaks far more directly to the domain of working-class experience.” (122) Both of my interviewee’s families were working-class Americans. We can look at workers’ experiences and how they see the changes in the world around them. We can use their memory to examine parts of history that can’t be in a graph and question it at the same time, due to memory loss or old age. (273 words)

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