Visiting the senior center: an informal response

Personal reflection first, Questions on ethics next. I think our trip to the senior center went rather well over all and was a big hit with the seniors themselves. I know with my particular group it was a little bit awkward because one interviewee came in later and neither women seemed to know the other that well so it left a little bit to be desired in how things where answered but we still got a pretty good amount of recording in. In terms of my own interviewing style I think it could use a bit of work, I got lucky in terms of how willing the two ladies where to talk and go into some details with out prompting but I found it difficult myself to get some follow up questions in. This may have been due in part to the nature of the interview with two interviewees rather than a one on one situation and myself feeling a bit awkward if I asked to many questions of one person and not the other. When it comes to objectivity and oral history I think it’s our responsibility to try and maintain a semblance of objectivity in our interview questions lest we lead the interview to produce the kind of responses we want, that doesn’t mean we should try and keep the interviewee’s answers objective, far from it as we’re seeking their subjective responses to our objective questions. Similarly we hold the responsibility to the interviewee to firstly be honest with them about what is being recorded and why and how we as historians intend to use the recorded interviews as well as to not use subjective questions to not create a one sided recording

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