I think Mehmet’s answer encloses what Goodson academically define as
Life History research: a valuable method for including “marginalized” voices- I
would rather say multi-voices – in the research processes (Goodson & Spikes, 2001).

 

 

 In our interview with Mehmet we agreed
to try tried to framework our conversation under the “timeline” narrative methodology
of life story research. By the term “timeline” however, we do not mean a mere
linear recording of events but rather what Goodson (2001) would define as “the
understanding of how different patterns of life stories co-exist and progressively
unfold  through historical, social and
the wider political contexts” (Goodson & Spikes, 2001). In this essence, a “timeline
“interview, that osculates life story’s holistic approach- in that it allows
for the lives to be seen as a whole in a very contextual manifestation (Goodson & Spikes, 2001), – augments the unique
chance of “witnessing” and “voicing” -as Mehmet would say- that events and
their perceptions in context with the wider framework of the life experiences.

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 It is very interesting to note
here, how this approach “renounces” the linear perception of time and engages us
in a three-dimensional reality when experiment in with life story research.  In life history, as Andersen (2010) states we
should realize that  time exists beyond
any fixed rationale coherence of horizontal events as  multiple lives can actually coexist in “one
life”. (Adriansen, 2010) .Goodson & Sikes
(2001) likewise propose, in that same conceptual framework the use of “timelines”
as starting tools for constructing a basis of the key events that delineate the
story.

This was one of the main difficulties I think life history methods
present: the taming of the pre-constructed conceptions and their complexities.
On the other hand, however, Life History research maybe stands also as an
opportunity of thinking and looking at the world in terms of these
complexities.  As Adriansen states, “any
reduction of the word to its simplicities would not allow any researcher in any
kind of research of any fresh information on the phenomenon under investigation” (Adriansen,
2010)-
which in the case of life history is the prerequisite.

On a content level, Life Stories according to Goodson (2008) are meant
to inform us readers not only in how to look at others but rather as how to
look at ourselves de novo. Over the course of our international life history conversation
with my research partner we shared some very interesting stories, all in the
spirit of collaborative inquiry and conversation. In some strange way however,
the revelation of Mehmet’s life was as a representation of mine as well, in
that I realized that I may have similar stories to share but viewed from another
angle. Life research, having in its central epistemological construct the
intersections of human experience and social experience and the complexities that
arise from that junction, (Goodson &
Spikes, 2001)
emerges not only as a research approach of interpreting the life and the
perceptions of the phenomena under exploration but rather as a questioning of our
very personal experiences from another point of view, from another way. This is
essentially what the life history methodology has to offer to the academia.

However, we have to note here, that this new way is not always a product
of the storyteller’s instruction. For instance, when I presented the
transcribed parts of the interview to my colleagues in class, I received many
different interpretations no matter my own ones. The responses, therefore, are
likely to be conjured up in terms of the representation and the interpretation
of the telling of the story per se. This also hints to the role of the
interviewer in the storytelling process. According to Fisher’s Narrative
Paradigm, storytelling is by definition a human “predisposition” co-constructed
by the gives and takes of the self and the otherness (Fisher, 1983). 
Life history interviews are intrinsically bounded in this dialogical
premise of narration in that the interviewer is not a mere question executive
but rather an initiator of a revealing process open to multidimensional
interpretations.

In terms of data analysis the methodological approach that I tried to
follows was the one suggested by (Goodson & Spikes, 2001): read the interview
transcriptions in order to note the emergent and recurrent themes, clustering
the quotes, divide and analyze the clusters thematically, prepare a draft
report as a canvas for a more final text.

Initially, I thought it would be easy to interpret my data as I was sure
about the themes of the interview , however after really “bathing” (Goodson,
2008:4) in the dataset it was pretty obvious that any predilection from my side
was merely invalid.  It was realized that
the predictions from my side would have only hindered the potentiality of the
interview’s emergent themes.