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Portelli offers a new and challenging approach to oral history, with an interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective. Examining cultural conflict and communication between social groups and classes in industrial societies, he identifies the way individuals strive to create memories in order to make sense of their lives, and evaluates the impact of the fieldwork experience on the consciousness of the researcher. By recovering the value of the story-telling experience, Portelli’s work makes delightful reading for the specialist and non-specialist alike.
Sticking to the Union relates the vibrant life of Julia Ruuttila (1907-1991), a political radical and labor journalist in the Pacific Northwest. Ruuttila's life of activism provides a much-needed woman's voice in the history of labor and social activism in the twentieth century. Ruuttila worked for civil liberties, civil rights, and peace organizations throughout her life, supporting striking workers, taking part in lunch-counter protests against businesses that discriminated against African Americans, and demonstrating against the Vietnam War. Polishuk provides insightful historical context for Ruuttila's own lively words. A unique and important perspective on American struggles of the twentieth century emerges in this engaging story of an irrepressible, hard-nosed woman.
This book questions the sociocultural dimensions of remembering. It offers an overview of the history and theory of memory studies through the lens of sociology, political science, anthropology, psychology, literature, art and media studies; documenting current international and interdisciplinary memory research in an unprecedented way.
Stories told within institutions play a powerful role, helping to define not only the institution itself, but also its individual members. How do institutions use stories? How do those stories both preserve the past and shape the future? To what extent does narrative construct both collective and individual identity? Charlotte Linde's unique and far-reaching study addresses these questions by looking at the interplay of narratives, memory, and identity in a large insurance company. Her detailed ethnography looks at the role of stories within the institution and how they are employed by its members in both private and group settings. Analyzing the re-telling of certain key stories, she shows how the formation of "core" stories and their multiple re-tellings and modifications provide a means of formulating and promoting a cohesive group identity -- which in turn shapes the stories and identities of the individuals within the collective. Linde also looks at silences, and how stories not told also convey their version of the past. Working the Past shows how stories that might otherwise be seen as part of mundane daily life are in fact utterly essential to the formation and maintenance of individual and group identity. Her original research will appeal to those interested in narrative studies, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and institutional memory.
International Yearbook of Oral History and Life Stories is a new series which aims to increase our understanding of the recent past and the changing present. It sets out to present and interpret autobiographical testimony, whether in the form of written autobiography, oral history, or life-story interviews. Edited by an international group of leading scholars, the International Yearbook is genuinely interdisciplinary and intellectually stimulating, with much to offer students in many areas, including history, sociology, literature, psychology, and anthropology. Each issue will form a coherent volume focusing on a single theme. Memory And Totalitarianism explores the remembered experience of individuals living under different totalitarian regimes, and examines the construction of memory in the aftermath of their collapse. Luisa Passerini, Special Editor of this volume, contributes an Introduction which underlines the fundamental importance of the struggle for memory and its meaning.
Historians have a highly contradictory attitude towards memory. It has usually been categorised as an unreliable source in historical research. However, memory is also understood as one of the key concepts in history. In this book, ten distinguished scholars explores a different perspective.

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