What Does ‘Oral History’ Entail, And What Use Can It Be To The Agendas Of Anthropologists, Or Historians Or Archaeologists?

2143 words - 9 pages

What does ‘oral history’ entail, and what use can it be to the agendas of anthropologists, or historians or archaeologists?
Rowse states that ‘human society, its story and how it has come to be what it is, is due to the factors that operate in them’ (Rowse, 1963). This is especially true when looking at history from an oral historian’s perspective. Oral history has always been a topic open to much debate – whether or not it is a method worthy of one’s time; often branded as ‘radical history’. History very much depends on how one presents it to those looking to seek out the truth. There are various methods to investigate the past but ‘oral history’ is one method which this exploration will focus on. When one looks at ‘oral history’, it is essential to firstly define the term and investigate its origins before one begins to decipher its use to anthropologists, historians or archaeologists. This essay will attempt to explore where oral history came from, what precisely it entails, such as what it specifically means to an oral historian, reasons why they would choose this method (strengths), problems an oral historian may face (weaknesses) and how a historian would go about collecting data (application).
A question which is much needed to be answered before one begins such a conquest as to find out what use oral history is is: ‘What is oral history?’ and ‘Where did it come from?’ There are several definitions within this but at first glance ‘Oral history refers both to a method of recording and preserving oral testimony (with) the intention of creating a permanent record to contribute to an understanding of the past’ (http://www.oralhistory.org/do-oral-history/general-principles-for-oral-history-and-best-practices-for-oral-history). For many years oral history was the only form of upholding a historical record. As a result of this a further exploration into oral traditions is also required in order to gain a fuller picture. Oral tradition differs to that of oral history as oral tradition is ‘no longer contemporary’. It is ‘passed from mouth to mouth for a period beyond the lifetime of the informants’ (Vansina, 1982). Herodotus is a renowned scholar from the 5th century but the question begged to be asked is ‘how did he gather his information?’ ‘It is widely believed he turned local memory into universal narrative.’ From this perspective one can see Herodotus employed the method of ‘oral history’ and a look at the beginnings of oral traditions in order to have ‘preserved Greek local tradition from oblivion’ (Luraghi, 2007). Is this an insight into oral history’s origin? Luraghi argues that ‘assuming Herodotus was the link in the transmission chain, the one where the tradition found at last a stable shape in written form, we cannot simply think of traditions which were... ready to be recorded’. He continues to argue that perhaps he did not collect all his information at once but perhaps ‘inquired’ then ‘thought a bit’ before he put pen to paper. ...

Find Another Essay On What does ‘oral history’ entail, and what use can it be to the agendas of anthropologists, or historians or archaeologists?

Parents, teachers, and others often use some form of punishment with children. Does it work? What would be the best ways to change a child’s behaviour

1961 words - 8 pages been brought up with distinctive beliefs about punishments toward a child. A child’s upbringing is argued by many researchers to be key to how they will go on to treat their own children in the future. This can surely be argued to be a negative effect of physical punishment. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the effects of what severe punishment may have on a child. Later convictions of violence and the evidence of damaging effects

Area of Study: Change 'Factors contributing to change can be internal or external and have varying effects:' Othello, What Women Want (2002)and The Door (Miroslav Holub)

1886 words - 8 pages Is this true for the texts you have studied?Othello by William Shakespeare, What Women Want by Nancy Myers and The Door by Miroslav Holub, are three texts which all explore the concept of change. Although they have used a different medium of production, all three texts clearly show how factors contributing to change can be external or internal and have varying effects.Othello by William Shakespeare, is a play which portrays the growth of

Legalization of Marijuana: 125 Years in the making - To legalize or not to legalize, what is it going to be?

1635 words - 7 pages , paranoia, and/or headaches while smoking it. Obviously, if you have tried marijuana and it had a bad effect on you, then marijuana is not for you. Don't smoke it.Marijuana is the only known plant that can be grown from the equator to the Arctic Circle and to the Antarctic. From 6,000 years ago until about 125 years ago, marijuana was the number one annually renewable natural resource for 80 percent of all paper, fiber, textiles, food, light, and

What is a historical context and can texts be explained or enriched by considerations of context?

1626 words - 7 pages What is a historical context and can texts be explained or enriched by considerations of context?A definition of the phrase 'historical context' is the historical 'circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully evaluated and assessed'1. In looking at the historical context of literature there are different strains that can be looked at; such as the writer's context, the text's context

Who or what was to be blamed for the deaths of romeo and juliet?

1993 words - 8 pages she is dead so she does not have to marry Paris. I think it is fair to say that Friar Laurence is one of the main people to blame for the tragedy, as it was his plans that went wrong. But from Romeo and Juliet's view he was very helpful and always had a solution for their dilemmasThe Nurse is one of Juliet's closest friends, apart from Romeo. She is not particularly clever or sensitive and does nothing to warn Juliet of how an involvement with a

"What Will it Be, Acrylic or Watercolor?"

627 words - 3 pages helps the artist display their vision into the image.Acrylic is a paint often used by amateur and professional painters. Acrylic is a plastic based paint that is usually applied onto a canvas but it can also be used on other surfaces as well. As with any kind of paint, a brush is the most common way to apply acrylic onto the canvas or paper. Stiff textured brushes are meant to be used with an acrylic medium because of its thick consistency. This

What does it mean to be American?

661 words - 3 pages successful or not. People have the freedom to do as they want to do, and say what they want to say. Therefore, being an American means you have "the quality or state of being free." As Andrew Jackson says, "Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure is to betray it." Freedom is not something that should be taken for granted. For a person to be a true American, they also must have pride in their

What Does it Mean To Be Human?

1389 words - 6 pages "I'm only Human," is a response everyone hears when someone makes a mistake. Does that mean humans are in heritably fallible? Or are we fallible because of society? In Mexico it is polite to greet someone by kissing them on the cheek, in the United States it is considered an invasion of personal space. Personal traits make up society, nevertheless there are characteristics that is common throughout all of our species. People's identity is

In what ways does Hill employ animals - alive or dead - to develop the narrative and our understanding of the characters?

1525 words - 6 pages scream and cry. Since Kingshaw knows that Hooper is waiting outside he doesn't let him hear his fear and tries to be strong. This whole thing shows us a lot. It shows us how Hooper is just plain evil and wants to mess with Kingshaw just to torment him. It also shows us how Hooper uses people's fears against them because he knows how afraid Kingshaw is of the crow. We can also see how Kingshaw is trying to face his fears for the sake of not pleasing

Effects of Global Warming: What is global Warming? What causes it? What are the consequences? What can be done to prevent it?

1033 words - 4 pages they are.Avoid chlorine at all cost! Use of any chlorine compounds is very harmful to the environment including bubbles in plastic foam, spray paint, fire extinguishers, bleach and a multitude of discarded household and industrial chemicals. Phosphates found in many laundry detergents and soaps contribute to water pollution and should be avoided. Aerosols such as air fresheners and hair sprays can contain butane/pentane which contributes to air

Case name: iPremier Case 1. Issue identification. 2.What do the facts/issues suggest, and why is it important to consider the issues you raise? 3. What does your analysis suggest should be done?...

1318 words - 5 pages . Additional line of defense should be created by installing prevention software that can prevent the breach of iPremier's architecture from such hacking incidents. � In the aftermath of the attack, the most important thing to be worried about is what sort of customer information, if any, was compromised by the attack.� Did the attackers actually access and delete/change/steal vital information, or did they simply shut down the company's

Similar Essays

Cloning: Right Or Wrong? Should Cloning Be Legal? What Are The Pros And Cons Of Cloning? What Can Cloning Lead To? What Should Be Done?

563 words - 2 pages clones will behave like any other human being would behave as it will have all the characteristics of a normal human being, as long as the individual who was cloned had human characteristics, it wont really matter.In conclusion I would like to say that, as you've seen above, cloning could be used in various ways to benefit the lives of humans .It is inevitable that cloning, at some stage, will play an important, if not vital, part in our lives therefore it is about time that society accepts this fact and lifts all constraints upon cloning so that more research can be carried out and help eliminate any risks associated with cloning.

"The Definition Of Life (Or Is It?)" Question: What Does It Mean To Say Something Is Alive, Conscious, And/Or Intelligent? Requirements: 1000 2000 Words

1529 words - 6 pages To say something is alive, conscious, and or intelligent has a unique meaning for each person. We can try and define these aspects, but we have no proof; all we have are supporting facts. The correct definition of “life” still cannot be agreed upon by scientists; there are simply too many exceptions. Scientists have, however, come up with nine main characteristics of life, although this still does not have unanimous support. Arguments

Communication In Management: In The Workplace.What Is Communication? How Can It Be More Effective? What Types Of Communication Exist? How Can It Be Understood Or Misunderstood?

2376 words - 10 pages can be fatal to the success of a business or organization. "Good communication ensures individuals know what is expected of them and ensures coordination within the organization" (Ball). "At the root of a large number of organizational problems is poor communication. Effective communication is an essential component of organizational success" (Wertheim). For these reasons, it is crucial for a manager to possess both effective verbal and non-verbal

What Does It Take To Be A Professional Chef And How Does It Affect The Industry

1794 words - 8 pages What Does It Take To Be A Professional And How Does It Affect The Industry? There are two approaches to becoming a professional in the culinary industry: going through an accredited culinary program or going straight into the field and learning from your experiences. Both of them have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day they both have an expectation to fulfill: to get things done. While identifying these pros and cons of a culinary