Technology as a support means for the (re)use of narrative data in social sciences
One of the consequences of the “digital turn” is a growing amount of linguistic narrative data available on-line. Large portion of this data is generated directly by the individual social actors. But there is also a second realm, which is a result – or sometimes a by-product – of qualitative research and oral history projects. In my talk, based on the case study of “sociology of oral history”, I intend to provide an insight into the ways of possible usage of oral history data in sociology, but also outline the crucial role of ICT in facilitating these efforts. Quite often, the results of process-oriented oral history projects (i.e. oral history projects without a specific research question) are published on-line in various digital environments. “Digital oral history” usually includes digital archives of interview collections with metadata, search tools, user work-space, Web 2.0 features etc. Due to this practice, large quantity of data is potentially available for reuse and secondary analysis by researchers, who did not participate in the initial data collection process. The analysis of this data could be supported by a wide variety of ICT tools. However, within the broad field of social sciences, different disciplines have very different requirements for exploitable data. I will use the data from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive (http://vhaonline.usc.edu) in the context of my own research experience, in an attempt to illustrate this complexity.
Jakub Mlynar (*1984) a is a postgradual sociology student at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague, and a visiting PhD student at Erasmus Studio in Rotterdam. He is working on a dissertation project „Memory and Identity: The influence of memories on the formation of social identity“. Since early 2010, he is a coordinator of Malach Center for Visual History at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University. Malach Center is the Czech access point to the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive (http://sfi.usc.edu) and another archives of oral histories. His interests in the social sciences have always been wide and not focused on one specific area of study. Among his current professional interests are the specifics of audiovisual autobiographic material and its value for sociology and educational praxis. In this context, he is also exploring the broader theoretical background in the topics of time, narrativity, (collective) memory and remembering in the social sciences and humanities.