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Volume: 47, Issue: 1 (2019)
'When's dad home?': an oral history of inter-war Australian fatherhood
Drawing upon interviews recorded in Australia four decades ago, this article considers the challenges of using archived oral history and how these interviews contribute to a history of fatherhood between the wars, traversing three temporal moments: research in the 2010s; interviews in the late 1970s and early 1980s; and events in the 1920s and 1930s, when narrators were children and young parents. The interviews show how and why most interwar Australian families aspired to the ideal of a division of family roles along gender lines, with fathers primarily breadwinners and mothers responsible for the home and childcare. They also reveal how different catastrophes -“ the aftermath of the First World War, the Depression and the loss of a parent through death or desertion - played havoc with that family ideal.
Author(s): Alistair Thomson
Keywords: family history, fatherhood, Great Depression, First World War, childhood, secondary analysis

Remembering the family that I thought we would be
This article discusses ambivalent memories around mothering. Drawing on lengthy interviews with one woman, the article explores silence and confession in oral interviews, and ways an interviewer might navigate painful emotions and deal with conflicts around different understandings of mothering. While an unplanned premarital pregnancy was easily discussed, Kathleen's memories of leaving her toddler for almost a year were more difficult. Moments of rupture, when narrative flow breaks or changes, can give an insight into more painful moments - in this case, a powerful sense of maternal loss intensified by changing ideas about motherhood and the importance of the mother/child bond. We argue that these evasions trace the gaps between Kathleen's lived maternal life and the family she had thought she would have.
Author(s): Miranda Francis and Katie Holmes
Keywords: oral history, motherhood, emotional expression, memory, childrearing, family

Emotional histories: materiality, temporality and subjectivity in oral history interviews with fathers and sons
This article concerns uses of oral history for telling intimate stories of intergenerational relationships across life courses. It conceives of interviews about families' lives as unresolved emotional histories, intersubjective and under perpetual negotiation. While interviewees draw on historic cultural scripts and social relationships to tell their stories, they also engage with continuities of feeling in ongoing relationships. Drawing on research with British men about post-war experiences of fatherhood and 'sonhood', I explore the materiality and temporality of oral history interviews, before examining subjectivity and social relationships using linguistic and psychoanalytic interpretive strategies. I conclude that men's narrations of parenting experiences produce idiosyncratic emotional histories, nevertheless bound by particular familial and gendered dynamics, historic socio-cultural contexts and the present-day situations in which they are recalled and retold.
Author(s): Richard Hall
Keywords: parenting, material culture, subjectivity, masculinity, emotions

'Closeness' and 'distance' in Holocaust survivors' accounts of mother-child relations
This article explores the theme of mother-child relations in Holocaust survivors' testimonies. It is based on an analysis of forty oral history interviews with women who moved to Britain and Israel before and after the Second World War. The women interviewed had negotiated many family relationships. How they fitted into these sometimes overlapping, but frequently conflicting families was a central theme in their narratives, and is the focus of this article. I first consider the influence of past family relationships, then the process of entering new families and finally women's experience of being mothers themselves. The article demonstrates how the tension between closeness and distance shaped their stories of their family lives, despite their different migration histories.
Author(s): Angela Davis
Keywords: Holocaust survivors, mother-child relations, Britain, Israel

Grandparents, communicative memory and narrative identity
This article explores how adult grandchildren remember their grandparents. It is drawn from a national research project exploring the intergenerational transmission of family memories among New Zealand Europeans/Pakeha. Beginning in 2016, 'The Missing Link' oral history project ( recorded interviews with sixty multigenerational families, contacted through a random sample of the general electoral roll. The key concept at the heart of the following analysis concerns the construction of 'narrative identity' and the role that grandparents play in this process. Building on the psychosocial developmental framework of Erik Erikson, the article demonstrates the ways in which generative grandparents, in particular, left a powerful imprint upon the memories and narrative identities of their grandchildren.
Author(s): Anna Green
Keywords: grandparents, grandchildren, communicative memory, narrative identity

Worried mothers? Gender, class and the origins of the 'dyslexia myth'
The 'dyslexia debate' continues to attract attention. Recent years have seen a spike in critics claiming that dyslexia is no more than a myth. Such views have received widespread coverage in the media and elsewhere, and been met with a series of counter-arguments by the dyslexia community. Missing from the debate, however, is a historical perspective. In this article, the origins of the modern dyslexia movement are explored, casting light on three key tenets of the dyslexia myth: dyslexia's putative connection with 'worried mothers', the middle-classes and dubious science. Through a series of oral histories, the article reveals how these critiques can be understood as the product of a particular gendered history.
Author(s): Philip Kirby
Keywords: dyslexia, dyslexia debate, gender, women, literacy

Selection and sampling methodologies in oral histories of mothering, parenting and family
Drawing upon histories of family and parenting that have employed qualitative interview methods, this article considers several approaches to participant selection and sampling. Across a range of research projects from the United Kingdom and Australia, the article analyses whole of population samples, tightly defined samples, generational samples within families and participant selection based upon geographic case studies. In so doing, the advantages and limitations of these varying participant selection strategies are explored. Ultimately, the article argues that, although often relegated to appendices, footnotes or introductory asides, methodological decisions are critically important to oral history research for they fundamentally shape the scope, progress and conclusions of historical research.
Author(s): Carla Pascoe Leahy
Keywords: methodology, Australia, United Kingdom, family history, parenting, motherhood

Family Men: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, c.1914-1960
Author(s): Laura King

Modern Motherhood and Women's Dual Identities: Rewriting the Sexual Contract
Author(s): Petra Bueskens

Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Parenting
Author(s): Renata Kokanović, Paula A Michaels and Kate Johnston-Ataata (eds)

The Deindustrialized World: Confronting Ruination in Postindustrial Places
Author(s): Steven High, Lachlan MacKinnon and Andrew Perchard (eds)

Migrant Architects of the NHS: South Asian Doctors and the Reinvention of British General Practice (1940s-1980s)
Author(s): Julian Simpson

Gay and Lesbian, Then and Now: Australian Stories from a Social Revolution
Author(s): Robert Reynolds and Shirleene Robinson

We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria
Author(s): Wendy Pearlman

Stranraer and District Lives: Voices in Trust
Author(s): Caroline Milligan (ed)

All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire
Author(s): Jonathan Abrams