Telling family histories: Story-telling and interior lives

Kramer, Anne-Marie (2010) Telling family histories: Story-telling and interior lives. [Video] (Unpublished)

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Recording of presentation given at Vital Signs 2 Conference, 7-9 September 2010, University of Manchester

Family history is both extremely popular and pervasive in British culture. Part of its attraction is its capacity to reclaim attention for the formerly ‘unseen’, to make space for the ‘intangible’, the dead, the deliberately forgotten, the misplaced and the over-looked.
In so doing, family history centres the imagination, memory, feelings and the role of story-telling. These are the elements of social and personal life which sociological research has traditionally failed to capture, but which people find fascinating in their personal lives. In this paper I want to explore what a focus on family history can offer to our understanding of how connectedness, relatedness and affinity function to mediate and structure personal and family lives. Drawing on findings from my Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship on the cultural status of genealogical research, in particular, I will argue that focusing on family history offers the researcher access into the imagined, narrativised, and lived lives of respondents, simultaneously as individuals and as family members. Further, given that family history encourages reflection on la longue durée, I will also describe how family history allows us to explore how the self and the family is consciously situated as shifting and contingent in time and social space.

Item Type: Video
Uncontrolled Keywords: Realities, belonging, history, memory
Subjects: 4. Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis > 4.23 Qualitative Approaches (other)
Depositing User: Realities user
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 14:03
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 13:53

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