Life Story and Self-Awareness: Oral History in Latvia (LV)


The first part of the book sums up the views of the National Oral History (NOH) researchers regarding life stories and self-awareness. It shows the very many ways in which the concept of self-awareness can be viewed by revealing the various historical situations, places and times in which the search for self-awareness as well as meaning in past, present and future events can be placed at the forefront. The book searches for answers and discusses issues that oral history researchers can put forward in the forming of society’s self-understanding and self-awareness and how the existence or lack of these can influence attitudes towards life and a sense of the meaning of life on both an individual and collective level (family, region or nation – whether imagined, constructed or real). The second part of the book includes excerpts from 13 life stories that have been used as sources for the chapters in the first part of the book. These life stories, which are available in the Latvian Oral History Archive, give the listener/reader an idea of the things that unite the many facets of Latvia’s story of history. The life stories show that, through an individual’s narrative, a unique insight into a specific historical event may be obtained, one that is full of emotion, evaluation and self-awareness.