Basic Principles in Oral History Research
Basic Principles in Oral History Research - Oral history research requires a method of collecting data or historical writing materials that is carried out by historical researchers through oral interviews with perpetrators or witnesses to events. This method has been used since the past which was originally used in the United States.
The step that must be taken for oral history research is to find supporting sources from the perpetrators or direct witnesses as well as the place where the incident took place to find the background and understanding of the consequences of the events that occurred so that they will come closer to the truth as expected.
Therefore, to conduct oral history research, it is necessary to have sources from the perpetrators and witnesses. Data collection was carried out by interviewing the perpetrators or witnesses to events. However, sometimes the statements of the perpetrators are subjective so that careful selection or analysis is needed (for example, those that benefit the perpetrators are said, while those that are considered negative or detrimental to the perpetrators are hidden). Criticism of oral sources is by cross-checking or checking with other oral sources.
Following are the techniques for collecting data from oral sources.
1. Sources of news from historical actors
Actors are the main elements that play a role in events because the perpetrators know exactly the background of the incident, what happened, the goals and objectives, and why it happened and who the perpetrators were. The method of interviewing the perpetrators is the most appropriate method for disclosing and describing an event.
There are several ways of collecting oral information through interview techniques, namely the selection of individuals to be interviewed in order to obtain accurate information (meaning the person's position
in an event, as the main actor, informant, or witness), there must be an approach to the person being interviewed, developing a fluent atmosphere in the interview with clear, uncomplicated questions and avoiding questions that offend. Prepare the main issues that will be asked as well as possible in order to obtain complete and accurate data.
In-person interviews can be conducted using the following methods.
a. Interviews were conducted with random questions and unspecified answers (open questions).
b. Interviews were conducted by asking questions with predetermined answers (closed questions).
c. Interviews were conducted by asking questions first and then the respondents answered one by one.
d. Interviews were conducted by asking a question, then the respondent
immediately answered it. When finished, the interviewer asked the next question.
e. Interviews were conducted using a tape recorder which can record the testimony of the perpetrator or the oral witness.
2. Sources of news from historical witnesses
People who have seen or witnessed an event, but are not the perpetrators, are called witnesses. News is also often conveyed by witnesses to events, which can be in the form of news of the truth, one-sided news, or just news of an event.
Witnesses also do not see the whole and detail of an event because they only know an event, that's just not the whole thing. Therefore, the testimony of witnesses needs to be supported by other data that strengthens the evidence of historical events.
3. Sources of news from the scene of historical events
The problem of place often has something to do with an event, for example, the Rengasdengklok incident, the preparation of the text of the proclamation, and the place of the proclamation. The place is a historical witness that is capable of being an oral source.