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Finding Meaning in Oral History Sources through Storytelling and Religion: Case Study of Three Cambodian Refugees

Title:

Finding Meaning in Oral History Sources through Storytelling and Religion: Case Study of Three Cambodian Refugees

Pelletier, Marie A. (2011) Finding Meaning in Oral History Sources through Storytelling and Religion: Case Study of Three Cambodian Refugees. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

: This research is based on three oral life stories narrative of Cambodian refugees living in Montreal. Careful observation of the narrative form and the religious framing of these interviews allowed for a better understanding of the meaning that is assigned to events by their narrators and the potential for the uses of narrative analysis in oral history research. Analysis of these life story interviews was done on three levels: isolated stories, life stories and cultural and historical context. At the level of isolated stories, interviewees transformed the events of their lives into narrative in order to give them meaning, a meaning often shaped by religious beliefs. In life stories as a whole, they created links between stories and between disparate events of their lives and thus reinforced a sense of coherent identity. In this task, religion provided a framework through which the meaning of life could be understood and conveyed. However, the experience of genocide often proved a challenge both for the creation of a coherent life narrative and for the religious framework through which these individuals perceived their lives. Furthermore, the narrative structure of the interviews reflected how these individuals related to their community – by speaking about the community, and to the community – and how they situated themselves in time.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Pelletier, Marie A.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:April 2011
ID Code:7519
Deposited By:MARIE A PELLETIER
Deposited On:09 Jun 2011 11:19
Last Modified:09 Jun 2011 11:19
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