Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Lim, Hyun (2011)
Languages: English
Types: Article
This paper aims to highlight how the life history interview has opened up possibilities for effectively exploring interlaced and shifting identities of marginalised groups, such as ethnic minority women, by illustrating two life stories of first generation Korean mothers in Britain. Chamberlayne et al. (2000) maintained that in order to understand an individual more fully we need to know her life history and the processes in which she becomes what she is. While certain elements of identity might be more stable than others, it is important to recognise that individual identity changes over time in line with the vicissitudes of individual life history. Also, the identity of the individual is a result of a complex, multifarious and dynamic interaction between different social organisations and relations at different times and spaces (Valentine, 2007). In this respect, the life history method provides ‘considerable background and social texture to research’ (Berg, 2007, p. 277). In order to illuminate this, the paper examines two case studies of Korean mothers, selected from the wider research of 30 life history interviews with East Asian mothers in Britain. Two life stories of first generation Korean mothers in Britain revealed that the identity construction of ethnic minority women with dependent children is dynamic, as a result of the interplay between divergent social relations, such as motherhood and migration, in different social contexts. Alongside this, the biographical approach enabled us to explore the varied experiences of ethnic minority women who might appear to share similar positions in society. Drawing on these, this paper argues that the life history technique is an extremely valuable research tool that enables us to fathom the formation of an individual woman’s identity in a fuller and richer sense, while highlighting individual differences in their experiences of being ethnic minority mothers in Britain.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Atkinson, P. and Silverman, D. (1997). Kundera's immortality: the interview society and the invention of the self. Qualitative Inquiry, 3 (3), 304 -325.
    • Atkinson, R. (1998). The Life Story Interview. London: Sage.
    • Berg, B. L. (2007). Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences.
    • Bertaux, D. (1982). The life course approach as a challenge to the social sciences. In T. K. Haven and K. J. Adams (Eds.), Ageing and Life Course Transitions: an Interdisciplinary Perspective (pp 127 -150). London: Tavistock.
    • Bornat, J. and Walmsley, J. (2004). Biography as empowering practice: lessons from research. In P. Chamberlayne, J. Bornat, and U. Apitzsch (Eds.), Biographical Methods and Professional Practice: an International Perspective (pp 221-236). Bristol: The Policy Press.
    • Brah, A. and Phoenix, A. (2004). Ain't I a woman? Revisiting intersectionality.
    • Journal of International Women's Studies, 5 (3), 75 -86.
    • Bryman, A. (2001). Social Research Method. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Chamberlayne, P., Bornat, J., and Wengraf, T. (2000). The biographical turn.
    • In P. Chamberlayne, J. Bornat, and Wengraf, T. (Eds.), The Turn to Biographical Methods in Social Science: Comparative Issues and Examples (pp 1-30). London: Routledge.
    • Chamberlayne, P. Rustin, M. and Wengraf, T. (Eds.) (2002). Biography and social exclusion in Europe: experiences and life journeys. Bristol: The Policy Press.
    • Coffey, A. (2001). Education and Social Change. Buckingham: Open University Press.
    • Connell, R. W. (2005). Masculinities. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
    • Faraday, A. and Plummer, K. (1979). Doing life histories. Sociological Review, 27 (4), 773-798.
    • Gardner, G. (2001). Unreliable memories and other contingencies: problems with biographical knowledge. Qualitative Research, 1 (2), 185 -204.
    • Ginsburg, F. (1989). Dissonance and harmony: the symbolic function of abortion in activists' life stories. In The Personal Narratives Group (Eds.), Gluck, S. B. and Patai, D. (Eds.) (1991). Women's Words: the Feminist Practice of Oral History. London: Routledge.
    • Harding, S. (1987). Introduction: is there a feminist method? In S. Harding, (Ed.), Feminism and Methodology: Social Science Issues (pp 1 -14). Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
    • Kohli, M. (1981). Biography: account, text, method. In D. Bertaux (Ed.), Biography and Society. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
    • Long, J. (1987). Telling Women's Lives: the New Sociobiography. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Chicago, USA.
    • Middleton, D. and Hewitt, H. (2000). Biography and identity: life story work in transitions of care for people with profound learning difficulties. In P.
    • Bornat, and T. Wengraf (Eds.), The Turn to Biographical Methods in Social Science: Comparative Issues and Examples (pp 261 -275). London: Routledge.
    • Mills, C. W. (2000). The Sociological Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Mishler, E. G. (1991). Research Interviewing: Context and Narrative. Harvard University Press: London.
    • Oakley, A. (1981). Interviewing women: a contraction in terms. In H. Roberts (Ed.), Doing Feminist Research (pp 30-61). London: Routledge.
    • Parekh, B. (2000). The Parekh Report: The Future of Multi-ethnic Britain.
    • Portelli, A. (1981). The peculiarities of oral history. History Workshop, 12 (Autumn), 96-107.
    • Roberts, B. (2002). Biographical Research. Buckingham: Open University Press.
    • Said, E. W. (1978). Orientalism. London: Penguin Books.
    • Salway, S. (2008). Labour market experiences of young UK Bangladeshi men: identity, inclusion and exclusion in inner-city London. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 31 (6), 1126-1152.
    • Skinner, T. (2011). Dyslexia, mothering and work: intersecting identities, reframing, 'drowning' and resistance. Disability and Society, 26 (2), 125 -137.
    • Stanley, L. and Morgan, D. (1993). Editorial, Sociology 27 (1) 1 -4.
    • Tang, N. (2002). Interviewer and interviewee relationships between women.
    • Sociology, 36 (3), 703-721.
  • No related research data.
  • No similar publications.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article