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Negotiating Cultures and Identities Life History Issues, Methods, and Readings

ISBN-10: 0803264666
ISBN-13: 9780803264663
Edition: 2006
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Description: Negotiating Cultures and Identitiesexamines issues, methods, and models for doing life history research with individual Americans based on interviews and participant observation. John L. Caughey helps students and other researchers explore the ways  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication date: 11/1/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 5.96" wide x 8.97" long x 0.55" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Negotiating Cultures and Identitiesexamines issues, methods, and models for doing life history research with individual Americans based on interviews and participant observation. John L. Caughey helps students and other researchers explore the ways in which contemporary Americans are influenced by multiple cultural traditions, including ethnic, religious, and occupational frames of reference. Using the example of Salma, a bicultural woman of Pakistani descent who lives in the United States, and the story of Gina, a multicultural American, Caughey examines how to capture the complexity of each situation, including step-by-step methods and exercises that lead the student interviewer through the process of locating and interviewing a research participant, making sense of the material obtained, and writing a cultural portrait. Arguing that comparison between the subject’s life and one’s own is an essential part of the process, the methodology also encourages the investigator to research his or her own social and cultural orientations along the way and to contrast these with those of the subject. The book offers a practical, manageable, and engaging form of qualitative research. It prepares the student to do grounded, experiential work outside the classroom and to explore important issues in contemporary American society, including ethnicity, race, identity, disability, gender, class, occupation, religion, and spirituality as they are culturally understood and experienced in the lives of individual Americans. John L. Caughey is a professor of American studies, affiliate professor of anthropology, and codirector of the Life Writing Project at the University of Maryland, College Park. Also of interest:Telling a Good One: The Process of a Native American Collaborative Biographyby Theodore Rios and Kathleen Mullen Sands

List of Exercises in Part 1
Preface
Acknowledgments
Issues and Methods in Life History
Introduction: Salma's Stories
Individuals and Their Cultures
Methods in Life History Research
Individual Identities, Multiple Cultures
Negotiating Conflicting Cultures and Competing Values
Writing Multiple Cultures in Life History
Readings in Life History
Introduction: Reading Life Histories
Being Indian in America: My Ethnic Roots and Me
Conversations with Paolo
Needle and Thread: The Life and Death of a Tailor
Lessons on the Road: The Life of a Hobo
"That Really Happened": Ethnography and the Hobby of Twentieth-Century War Reenacting
A Chameleon-Like Approach: Successful Negotiations of Multiple Cultural Traditions
The Sound of It Stayed in My Ears: Life History with African American Domestics
My Mexican Friend Marta Who Lives Across the Border from Me in Detroit
Routes to Identity: Life History Dialogues on Race and Adoption
Notes
Suggestions for Further Reading
List of Contributors
Index

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