Applied Oral History

Mohammad Javad Moradinia
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian

2020-08-04


“We do not speak of or write oral history in order to do a job or enjoy, or that we only create an audio or a video and enrich our archive. Oral history has extraordinary attractions and capacities per se, which can be very effective and problematic if they are identified and used well. This means that if oral history is applied in a purposeful and planned way, it can be turned into a practical way to solve some problems, to find solutions for developing and advancing plans, and to find ways to improve things in various areas of social life. I give a few examples to clarify the subject:

 - the people of a local, rural or urban area have been famous for their goodness, and social problems and anomalies have been less seen or reported among them, but some changes have been occurred in a period or point and they have faced with social harms and problems. What was the cause or causes and what should be done? Here, using the methods of oral history, the researcher of oral history has the possibility and capacity to reach the roots of the subject and the process of this change and transformation of social conditions, and to show the ways out of the undesirable situation.

- In the field of Education, school(s) or a certain region have suffered from a severe decline in education or have faced some upbringing problems. What should be done to solve it? In this case, too, experienced and qualified interviewers of oral history can appear and discover the cause or causes of the issue with a methodical and purposeful review of what has happened, and pave the way for solving the problem.

- An industrial factory has affected with serious disruptions in the production process of its products and its income has worsened day by day, to the extent that it has been forced to lay off some of its workers and accept various damages. Here, too, the oral history interviewer can help the cause or causes to be identified by following the process of such an event, and by carefully illuminating the dark and hidden angles from which the damage has been inflicted. These are just a few examples of the applications of non-political oral history at a time when, fortunately, this branch of historical knowledge has quickly found its place among the interested, and its frontiers are shifting and expanding every day.

Today, our society needs to use all its capacities for development and progress. Let’s use the capacity of oral history in developing Iran and making it as a more applied knowledge as possible[1].

 


[1].  Mohammad Javad Moradinia, Bi-Quarterly Journal of Oral History, 4th Year, No. 8, Document Research Institute of the Documents and Library Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Fall and Winter 2018, pp. 7 - 8.



 
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