The ethics of oral history: Expectations, responsibilities, and dissociations

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This article focuses on the mutual expectations of the oral historian and the interviewee – problems and opportunities that could arise from the rapport that is established between them. The (sometimes conflicting) expectations are elaborated in three stages: first, the interview setting itself; second, the level of interpretation and evaluation of the research results; and third, a possible ongoing rapport beyond the given research goal (as seen by the researcher). The author concludes that for each stage, balances must be found between the conflicting interests to meet the goals of the research project as well as to respect the dignity of the interviewee.


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