Oral History for the Qualitative Researcher

Choreographing the Story

Valerie J. Janesick

Paperbacke-bookprint + e-book
March 19, 2010
ISBN 9781593850739
Price: $45.00 $10.00?
271 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
March 1, 2011
ePub ?
Price: $45.00
271 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub) ?
Price: $90.00 $54.00
271 Pages
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“Through teaching qualitative research methods classes for over 25 years, Dr. Janesick has sustained a research and writing agenda which makes her work accessible, original, and valuable. As she also teaches curriculum classes focused on authentic assessment and the social issues surrounding high stakes testing, she has creatively managed to use both strands of her research work to incorporate social justice awareness and practices. She has made consistent and formidable contributions to the advancement of the field through research, leadership roles, mentoring, and breaking some new ground with a poetry blog on critical approaches to curriculum and research. This wealth of experience is reflected in the Oral History text and is sure to enhance readers' knowledge and practice of qualitative research....Introduces the qualitative researcher to the value and power of Oral History. Learn how to create poetry from interview data. See case examples of stories from ordinary individuals on the outskirts of society for a social justice perspective in oral history and its uses. Learn about the technology available for facilitating oral history projects and the various on line oral histories already available for study. Reawaken your imagination as you learn about storytelling through the metaphor of dance and choreography through your interviews, documents, and observations. Reawaken your narrative writing skills through a research reflective journal. Oral history is a way to capture the lived experience of a person and this text helps to open the repertoire of options to document that experience through the use of technology, poetry, and with an eye toward social justice.”

International Journal of Technology and Educational Marketing

“Janesick expertly crafted a multi-dimensional space in this work within which deeper understandings come forth. She combines the introduction of new ideas with a strong and centered narration filled with instructive examples easily accessible by many different reading communities....Janesick continues to demonstrate why she is among the most provocative thinkers about forms and functions of qualitative inquiry. She is so adept with building instructive metaphors to increase and enhance understanding, while she intentionally chooses to write in an accessible way, determined to engage researchers at all levels of experience....This text will quickly be adopted by those of us teaching graduate-level research methodologies courses and equally enjoyed by others intrigued by possibilities of oral history....Janesick's ideas are the kind you have a hard time keeping to yourself.”

The Qualitative Report

“A lucid, thoughtful guide for the oral history researcher. Written in highly accessible language, the book details the steps involved in doing research on lived experience. The many examples of actual oral history interviews illuminate the processes of both gathering and presenting oral history data. On the cutting edge of the field, the book considers oral history in the digital age and provides links to a variety of related resources. Both novice and experienced oral historians will profit from Janesick's expertise and her social justice framework.”

—Ruthellen Josselson, PhD, School of Psychology, Fielding Graduate University

“Janesick brings her extensive teaching excellence and research expertise to this book, which provides a finely honed understanding of oral history practice and includes a wealth of timely case studies. The book discusses the nuts and bolts of conducting an oral history project, from the data collection phase (including online and multimedia data collection techniques) to strategies for data analysis and writing up the results. Janesick draws out the ethical and social justice dimensions of the practice of oral history by showing the power of this method for uncovering subjugated knowledge and the lives of people who have been marginalized. The choreographic metaphor woven throughout invites the reader to engage in a dance of learning and to feel actively engaged in oral history praxis. This book is a gem!”

—Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber, PhD, Department of Sociology and Director, Women's Studies Program, Boston College

“This book demonstrates the value and importance of oral history research as a qualitative technique. Through excerpts from oral histories and directed activities, readers are invited to sample and actually practice techniques such as interviewing and journaling. Blending theory and practice, the book offers critical insight into oral history as a performative practice. The postmodern perspective and the focus on social justice are important features of the text.”

—Patrick M. Jenlink, EdD, Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas

“I love the writing style! It is clear and friendly yet scholarly, and progresses smoothly through ideas and topics. It’s very conversational. I recommend this book for any reader seeking a primer on doing oral history.”

—William G. Tierney, PhD, Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education, University of Southern California

“A book on oral history methods for the qualitative researcher is certainly needed! This book is especially timely in situating oral history in the context of current professional and societal issues. I also value the framework for positioning oral history in the postmodern context. The book could be used for both professional and class use. It is accessible for beginners, but delves deep enough for professionals to apply the examples to their own work.”

—Brian D. Schultz, PhD, Department of Educational Leadership and Development, Northeastern Illinois University

“As I embark on a project that involves doing oral histories with Holocaust survivors, this book is exactly what I need for thinking through my own work and for teaching oral history research to graduate students who seek to integrate artistic and social scientific perspectives. Janesick combines a creative approach with useful advice about the nuts and bolts of conducting successful oral history research. I especially appreciated the examples of how to respond to IRB requests and ethical issues, the performance exercises, the insightful discussion of oral history as a social justice project, and the discussions of poetry and digital storytelling. I definitely will use this book in my graduate qualitative methods classes and in classes specifically on oral history. I predict this book will be widely used by methods instructors in education, sociology, communication, psychology, and social work, as well as those in the creative arts.”

—Carolyn Ellis, PhD, Department of Communication, University of South Florida

“This engaging text is loaded with examples, exercises, handy websites, and references for further reading. Almost any qualitative researcher will get something useful from this book, whether a more reflexive approach to research, a more interactive one, or a better awareness of the origins and history of the techniques we use. The book offers concrete advice on everything from the wording of questions and ways to prepare for an interview to techniques for pulling themes from the data. Janesick provides an especially useful discussion of getting approval for qualitative research designs from institutional review boards (IRBs). One of the charms of the book is its emphasis on choreography, whether a tango with the IRB, or a waltz with interviewees, or some completely original dance or poem to present the results. From the initial interviews to the final write-up, Janesick's approach is consistently graceful, self-aware, transparent, and collaborative, with a focus on documenting the lives of ordinary people.”

—Irene Rubin, PhD, Public Administration Division (Professor Emerita), Northern Illinois University