By Ken Plummer
Records of existence used to be initially released in 1983 and have become a vintage textual content, supplying either a persuasive argument for a selected method and a manifesto for social study. As a critique of anti-humanist method within the social sciences, it championed using lifestyles tales and different own records in learn that are now universal this day. This publication is a considerably revised and improved model which takes on contemporary advancements. delivering a variety of illustrations from a variety of existence files, the booklet strains the heritage of the tactic, examines methods of 'doing existence tale' study, and discusses the numerous political and moral matters raised by way of such examine. the full publication has been considerably re-written and
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Additional info for Documents of Life 2: An Invitation to A Critical Humanism
All of these expressions of personal life are hurled out into the world by the millions and can be of interest to anyone who cares to seek them out. They are all in the broadest sense `documents of life', and the aim of the next few chapters is to explore a little of this diversity and to see what they have to offer. One feature of this diversity is the sheer range of approaches and disciplines with divergent aims that take life documents seriously. There is the oral historian, often using documents to throw some light upon the past; the psychiatrist using documents to probe the dynamic repressed unconscious; the anthropologist making the prime target of investigation the culture of which the document is a part; and the video diarist trying to visually record a life fragment.
The role of the researcher is crucial to this activity: without them there would be no life story. Amongst the range of solicited stories are: ORAL HISTORY AND TESTAMENTS One of the most commonly used `researched' life stories is that of the oral history and testament ± a major development in the postwar period. It is, of course, no new approach ± being as old as history itself ± but it is only since the 1940s (with the work of Allan Neins at Columbia University) that an oral history movement has emerged around tape-recordings.
The classic source for interactionism is Herbert Blumer, Symbolic Interactionism (1969); I have collected papers on it in Ken Plummer, Symbolic Interactionism, Vols 1 & 2 (1991) as well as analysing its recent manifestations in Ken Plummer, `Symbolic interactionism at the end of the twentieth century' in Bryan S. ), The Blackwell Companion to Social Theory (2nd edn, 2000). On postmodernist social theory, a good introductory guide is George Ritzer's Postmodern Social Theory (1997). On Queer theory, see Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's Epistemology of the Closet (1990) and Steven Seidman's Difference Troubles: Queering Social Theory and Sexual Politics (1997).