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Burnt by the SunThe Koreans of the Russian Far East$
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Jon K. Chang

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824856786

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824856786.001.0001

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Voices in the Field

Voices in the Field

(p.180) Eight Voices in the Field
Burnt by the Sun

Jon K. Chang

University of Hawai'i Press

In this chapter, I try to explain why it was necessary to conduct interviews and fieldwork in Central Asia. Essentially, the voices of the Koreans and their “agency” was very difficult to find in the Soviet archives. By going to Central Asia, I confirmed what I had read previously by Dr. Khisamutdinov, that there were Korean NKVD officers who took part in the repression and deportation of the Soviet Koreans. I interviewed four such families. Interviewing subjects in their native land (vs. émigrés) helped me to understand and record the variance and variety of opinions and experiences. Memory work also displayed the “multivocality” within the individual subject, that is, the subject in various interviews exhibits a wide variety of roles, voices, personages and influences (e.g. subject A speaking from their experience as a child, adolescent, soldier, mother, and welder and accompanied by changes in body language, attitude and voice).

Keywords:   memory, oral history, fieldwork, interviews, multivocality, Alessandro Portelli, Soviet archives, instrumentalist history

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