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Analysing the analysed: transference and counter-transference in the oral history encounter

Roper, M (2003) 'Analysing the analysed: transference and counter-transference in the oral history encounter.' The Journal of the Oral History Society, 31 (2). 20 - 32. ISSN 0143-0955


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Based on life-story interviews with psychoanalytic psychotherapists, this article demonstrates the value of thinking psychoanalytically about the oral history encounter. It argues that concepts of transference and counter-transference can be valuable resources, not only in helping oral historians to deal with difficult moments within the interview,but in interpretation.Contrary to some recent work within the field, which has focused on the narrative construction of identities, the article warns against too exclusive a focus upon the words spoken in a life story interview. The interview is not simply a narrative, but rather, a relationship in which there are two subjectivities in play. The life story that results from this encounter is always informed by unconscious dynamics. The problem for the researcher is how to remain sensitive to these dynamics during the interview, and how such sensitivity can enrich subsequent understanding. A key issue here concerns the researcher's capacity to tolerate, and reflect upon, anxiety. These concerns are investigated through an analysis of transference processes in two interviews with psychotherapists.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elena Pupaza
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 10:11
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:47

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