Voices passed

Voices passed Purpose – The paper's aim are to: review the value and credibility of oral history for historical research in marketing; and conceptualize oral history as more than a data source in historical research but also a subject to investigate memory and a conceptual approach for understanding historical events. Design/methodology/approach – The paper comprises an international historical review of oral history theory and practice linked to an examination of oral history methods in marketing. Findings – Oral history is perceived as an “essentially contested concept”; a lack of consensus on universal principles has been sustained over a long time and has led to incredible diversity in theory and practice but has also made it difficult to grasp and manage. It is shown to be perspectival with analytical reach beyond individuals' recollected experiences and actions. Memory is identified as the subject as well as the source for oral history and a misconception that oral history can provide literal expressions of what experience and events were like is clarified. Oral history has been under‐utilized in marketing history and this is presented as a methodological paradox given the ubiquity of the interview in the marketing discipline more generally. Originality/value – Central to oral history are a range of questions around issues of memory and remembering that have been largely unacknowledged in marketing and the oral history approach is perhaps uniquely placed to address some of these. Oral history critically examines the making of history and the paper highlights some of the issues this presents for historical research. Disciplinary efforts to standardize oral history are queried. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Historical Research in Marketing Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1755-750X
DOI
10.1108/17557501111183626
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The paper's aim are to: review the value and credibility of oral history for historical research in marketing; and conceptualize oral history as more than a data source in historical research but also a subject to investigate memory and a conceptual approach for understanding historical events. Design/methodology/approach – The paper comprises an international historical review of oral history theory and practice linked to an examination of oral history methods in marketing. Findings – Oral history is perceived as an “essentially contested concept”; a lack of consensus on universal principles has been sustained over a long time and has led to incredible diversity in theory and practice but has also made it difficult to grasp and manage. It is shown to be perspectival with analytical reach beyond individuals' recollected experiences and actions. Memory is identified as the subject as well as the source for oral history and a misconception that oral history can provide literal expressions of what experience and events were like is clarified. Oral history has been under‐utilized in marketing history and this is presented as a methodological paradox given the ubiquity of the interview in the marketing discipline more generally. Originality/value – Central to oral history are a range of questions around issues of memory and remembering that have been largely unacknowledged in marketing and the oral history approach is perhaps uniquely placed to address some of these. Oral history critically examines the making of history and the paper highlights some of the issues this presents for historical research. Disciplinary efforts to standardize oral history are queried.

Journal

Journal of Historical Research in MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 8, 2011

Keywords: Oral history; Oral methods; Memory; Essentially contested concept; Research work; Marketing

References

  • Retail history in the management context: prototype, prologue or prequel?
    Alexander, N.
  • A brief history of the gasoline service station
    Beckman, T.N.
  • Evolution of the empowered consumer
    Davies, A.; Elliott, R.
  • A life course perspective of family meals via the life grid method
    Harrison, R.L.; Veeck, A.; Gentry, J.
  • Hollander's doctoral seminar in the history of marketing thought
    Jones, D.G.B.; Keep, W.
  • An uncommon scholar
    Nason, R.W.

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