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Emotions
Volume: 38, Issue: 2 (2010)
Articles
Talk about care: emotions, culture and oral history
This article outlines a cultural studies approach to studying emotion and use this to look again at a series of interviews with young care leavers, focusing on what they had to say about ‘care’. It explores how specific emotion words are deployed as critical analytical terms by interviewees reflecting on their experiences and representing their subjectivities and social realities in relation to others. Such analysis articulates historically and culturally specific meanings of care.
Author(s): Jenny Harding
Keywords: cultural studies, emotion, care, love, subjectivity, power relations, relationality

Remembering and reworking emotions: the reanalysis of emotion in an interview
Oral historians commonly interview older people, yet tend to neglect what is known about the psychology of old age and the significance of an interview in the life of an older person. Researchers likewise come to the interview with agendas, biographies and life stage issues. In the interview situation, these various components, contributed by both sides in the partnership, emerge in ways which can be difficult to deal with at the time, provoking unpredictable emotional responses. Looking back at data generated from such encounters can be revelatory, not only in relation to research goals but in terms of insights into the interviewer’s own self-awareness and understanding of the process of interviewing. This article explores these issues by drawing on an interview carried out almost thirty years previously during which a woman in her eighties recalled, with much emotion, an experience from her childhood.
Author(s): Joanna Bornat
Keywords: oral history, secondary analysis, interviews, emotion, old age

Emotion in narrating the history of learning disability
This paper describes recent research in two areas: interviewing parents of people with learning disabilities and talking to people with learning disabilities about their lives. In the first section, Sheena Rolph discusses a range of emotional responses revealed in interviews with parents of people with learning disabilities and reflects on what these responses meant within the context of people’s lives. In the second section, Dorothy Atkinson explores the role of emotions in life-story work with people with learning disabilities and the ways in which these feelings from the past were incorporated into narratives told in the present.
Author(s): Sheena Rolph and Dorothy Atkinson
Keywords: learning disability, emotion, life stories, emotions history

‘We were skivvies/we had a ball’: Shame and Interwar Ships’
Shame is a telling emotion revealed by some inter-war British ships’ stewardesses – the counterparts of today’s cabin crew – in interviews and interactions with oral historians. Shame is useful because it highlights seawomen’s differing attitudes to being ‘exciting’ travel workers on palatial liners in the mid twentieth century. Some insisted proudly ‘we had a ball’ even though others felt shame, as if they were skivvies. This article tackles the process of understanding why women might experience shame and how they represented and negotiated their feelings. The key question is that if ships were sweatships and working on them was an appropriate cause for shame (as well as pride), then why was shame not explicit in interviewees’ narratives?
Author(s): Jo Stanley
Keywords: emotion; women; ships; shame

‘Surprised by joy’: A case history exploring the expression of spiritual joy in oral history
This article explores the expression of joy in the oral life narrative of a woman who works towards the settlement of indigenous grievances in New Zealand. It discusses how we recognise joy in the interview through counter-transference, vocal tone and metaphor, and what interpretative insights this may afford the oral historian. In her early life the narrator appears to have learned, through social institutions such as family and church, an emotional style involving joy. It is not only the experience of joy that is important but the expression of it as a means of further evoking and managing the emotion in the service of her high-priority goals. Having thus discovered the instrumental value of joy as her guide to what is good and worthwhile, she then continues to employ a similar emotional style to motivate and guide her political activism in later life. I suggest that close attention to patterns of emotional expression throughout life narratives may be a fruitful focus for oral historians in detecting historical change and/or continuity in emotional styles, and in alerting us to complex and conflicting values in society.
Author(s): Jane Moodie
Keywords: joy, emotives, emotional style, family myth, biculturalism, political activism

Moving Feelings: Nationalism, Feminism and the Emotions of Politics
This article explores how, in interviews with women involved in nationalist and feminist politics in the Basque country, different political movements are associated with different emotions. In so doing, it draws on recent cultural theories of emotions as well as the history of emotions. The article looks at how certain emotions become attached to a specific political movement while other feelings move between them, becoming associated with a given political cause or idea at a particular moment in the narrator’s life story. It argues that these emotional attachments and moving feelings are expressive of narrators’ perceptions of changes in wider social values associated with nationalism and feminism throughout the period studied, as well as of the difficulties expressed by narrators in combining and sustaining multiple political commitments. As such, they are an important aspect of the history of political activism.
Author(s): Carrie Hamilton
Keywords: feminism, nationalism, activism, emotions, politics, history

Public History
Voice of the Community? Reflections on accessing, working with and representing communities
When we approach and work with a community on an oral history project, whose voices are heard? Whose stories are we recording and can they ever adequately ‘represent’ a community? This article explores how “communities” participate in, contribute to and are consequently represented in oral history projects. The article refers to West Yorkshire Archive Service’s recent oral history project, which worked with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Using this case study, it reflects on the project’s approach to identifying, accessing and involving so-called invisible or hard-to-reach communities in an oral history project along with some of the problems and achievements arising from this attempt to capture the oral histories of a historically-hidden, traditionally-excluded, and often socially-invisible, group of people.
Author(s): Fiona Cosson
Keywords: communities, representation, LGBT, west Yorkshire

Learning
Oral History, Learning and the Heritage Lottery Fund: tips for a good application
The UK’s Heritage Lottery Fund was set up in 1994 to distribute money raised by the National Lottery to projects linked to heritage. In this article the organisation’s latest strategic aim relating to participation and learning is outlined, focussing in particular on the requirement that all oral history projects deliver learning outcomes and the opportunities this creates for applicants.
Author(s): Jo Reilly
Keywords: heritage lottery fund, learning, interpretation, participation, funding

Reviews
Using Biographical Methods In Social Research
Author(s): Barbara Merrill and Linden West

Community Archives: The Shaping Of Memory
Author(s): Jeannette A. Bastian and Ben Alexander

Oral History: The Challenges Of Dialogue
Author(s): Marta Kurkowska-Budzan and Krzysztof Zamorski

A Guide To Oral History And The Law
Author(s): John A Neuenschwander

I Saw It Coming: Worker Narratives Of Plant Closings And Job Loss
Author(s): Tracy E K'meyer and Joy L Hart

Gendering Migration. Masculinity, Femininity And Ethnicity In Post-War Britain
Author(s): Louise Ryan and Wendy Webster

Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps In The Vietnam War
Author(s): Kara Dixon Vuic

Chocolate, Women And Empire: A Social And Cultural History
Author(s): Emma Robertson

Through The Mill: Personal Recollections By Veteran Men And Women Penicuik Paper Mill Workers
Author(s): Ian Macdougall