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Gibraltarian Oral Histories: Walking the Line between Critical Distance and Subjectivity

Perera, JB and Canessa, A (2016) 'Gibraltarian Oral Histories: Walking the Line between Critical Distance and Subjectivity.' Life Writing, 13 (2). 273 - 283. ISSN 1448-4528

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© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This essay engages with the position of the researcher when carrying out field work on a subject close to home. If on the one hand familial relationships and intimate connections to the subject, in this case Gibraltar, are important determinants in understanding and analysing the oral histories that will be collected during the lifetime of the project, this proximity also raises questions regarding subjectivity and critical distance. This physical and emotional proximity to the subject also implies that as researcher I occupy more than one space - that of subject (as a Gibraltarian and member of the community I am studying), and that of investigator. Such a quandary has led to a reflexive process that goes well beyond questions of self-narrative and autoethnography to include theoretical thought over the wider context of Gibraltar as a British Overseas Territory and the impact of colonialism and a powerful geopolitical discourse on constructs of identity and a historical past. The oral history project we are currently embarked on offers a far more textured approach for the airing of a previously unheard perspective of history.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 27 May 2016 12:20
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:26

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