Parimuslik ajalugu – arengusuunad ja paralleelid
NARRATED HISTORY: TRENDS AND PARALLELS
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Narrated history (pärimuslik ajalugu) as an independent research approach started to emerge in Estonian folkloristics in the 1990s. On the one hand, it was expectable, as narrating the past was significantly in the foreground in the 1980s–90s, due to the changes that society was undergoing. On the other hand, it was connected with the general development pattern in the 1970s-80s folkloristics, for example, in the emergence of context-centred folkloristics as well as interest in modern-day folklore and small-group folklore tradition. At the end of the 1990s contacts were established with fellow researchers from neighbouring countries, and collaboration with Latvian and Finnish researchers has proved most durable. Internationally, this line of research is associated with oral history research, and is, to some extent, also related with memory studies and life history research. This thematic publication is another step aiming to discuss the ongoing trends and investigations in the field of narrated/oral history in the abovementioned area of cooperation. In general, there are new topics (e.g., experience in being a representative of state authorities; researcher’s self-awareness as an interviewer) and also observations of earlier topics considering the present-day contexts (e.g., family traditions in the Internet era; experience of members of transnational families; modern possibilities for analysing materials recorded in the past). Focusing on the present day and interpersonal relationships is characteristic, as opposed to the past and the interpretation of past events. Among the theoretical aspects in the line of research, most often the developments of earlier standpoints are dealt with (for example, the change in the balance between the public and the private in modern society). This gives evidence of a new stage in research, leaving the discussions on the formation of this line of research (and other interrelated lines) into the 2000s.
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