Godfrey, Barry S. (2004) Self-Identity, Empathy and Sympathy in Reading Transcripts. In: Narrative, Memory & Identity: Theoretical and Methodological Issues. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 59-66.
Abstract

When conducting oral history interviews empathetic relationships tend to be
created between the researcher and the subject, and this is seen as an essential
aid for historical and/or sociological analysis. This article examines the basis of
these empathetic relationships - the emotional reaction of the interviewer to
what is being narrated by the interviewee. It goes on to question whether it is
possible to maintain an emotional/empathetic relationship with ‘unlikeable’
subjects; whether the emotions created during an interview are retained when
the interviews are transcribed, archived, and accessed by researchers who did
not carry out the original interviews (sometimes many years after the
interviews took place). Lastly, it examines the implications that this may have
for interpretive analysis.

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