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Other lives in accounting: critical reflections on oral history methodology in action

By K. Haynes


The aim of this paper is to provide a critical and reflexive evaluation of the use of an oral history methodology in a research project investigating the lived experiences of women accountants. It discusses the nature and benefits of oral history as a research methodology, which allows the subjectivities of individuals to be central to the empirical data. It allows the voices of those who have arguably been ignored, marginalised or silenced within particular contexts to be heard. The paper draws on feminist approaches to research methodology, which stress reciprocity and the minimisation of hierarchies within research. It evaluates some of the ethical issues arising, such as the ownership of research, the use of friends and strangers as research participants, and emotion, within the research relationship. The paper concludes that, when approached critically and reflexively, oral history provides a sound epistemological and methodological base for understanding the meaning of events and experience to individuals

Publisher: Department of Management Studies, University of York
Year: 2006
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