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Immigration ReconsideredHistory, Sociology, and Politics$
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Virginia Yans-McLaughlin

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780195055108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195055108.001.0001

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Metaphors of Self in History: Subjectivity, Oral Narrative, and Immigration Studies

Metaphors of Self in History: Subjectivity, Oral Narrative, and Immigration Studies

Chapter:
(p.254) 9 Metaphors of Self in History: Subjectivity, Oral Narrative, and Immigration Studies
Source:
Immigration Reconsidered
Author(s):

Virginia Yans-McLaughlin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195055108.003.0010

This chapter explores subjective documents and their relationship to immigration and ethnic studies, fields that historically have found these sources both appealing and problematic. By “subjective documents”, it refers to a broad class of evidence that reveals the participant's view of experiences in which he had been involved. They include autobiographies, life histories, letters, oral narratives, interviews, and court records. The discussion here familiarizes readers with some recent debates over the use and creation of this type of data, giving particular emphasis to phenomenology, hermeneutics, and textual analysis. Looking at the oral interview or narrative exposes both the unique peculiarities of these data and scholarly ambivalence about subjective sources.

Keywords:   immigration studies, ethic studies, subjective sources, oral interview, oral history

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