Analysing oral history: A new approach when linking method to methodology

Authors

  • Kolleen Miller-Rosser PhD-Candidate MSN Grad Dip (Peds) RN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Education Coordinator, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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  • Suzanne Robinson-Malt PhD,

    1. Director—Nursing Research and Practice, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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  • Ysanne Chapman RN PhD MSc (Hon) BEd (Nsg) GDE DNE DRM MRCNA,

    1. Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University—Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria, Australia
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  • Karen Francis RN PhD MHlthScNsg MEd BHlthScNsg DipHlthScNsg FRCNA

    1. Professor of Rural Nursing, Head of School, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University—Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria, Australia
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Kolleen Miller-Rosser, MBC#63, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, PO Box 3354, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia. Email: konky40@yahoo.com

Abstract

This paper discusses a pragmatic and innovative approach to the data analysis of oral testimonies when used within a methodological framework of Historiography. Oral testimony is increasingly perceived as an exciting research method within the nursing discipline. However, the availability of a clear method to guide the researcher in their analysis of oral testimonies as the primary data for a Historiography is limited. A practical approach to the interpretation of oral testimony is needed to ensure the continued and successful use of Historiography as a valued research methodology in nursing science. The primary discussion revolves around the explication of a four-stage method proposed as a pragmatic tool for the analysis of oral testimonies. Theoretical literature from the Historian, Paul Thompson and Pragmatist Philosopher, Richard Rorty is drawn upon to bring validity and reliability to the proposed method of analysis. This new technique can be easily used by nurses and many other disciplines in their efforts to efficiently analyse the qualitative data obtained from oral testimonies.

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