Oral Literature Research/Field Work - English Oral Literature Notes

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  • Field work is the act and process of going out to a community to collect oral literature materials and related information for study and analysis. Field work is necessary for
    1.  The student to relive the performance of oral literature materials (recordings, videos etc.)
    2.  Experience firsthand, the community’s customs and beliefs.
    3.  Recording and storage of oral literature materials to be used by the future generations.
    4.  To enable a student know and explore new knowledge not covered by earlier researchers.
    5.  To help the student acquire research skills in academic study.

Key Stages in Field Work

  1. Preparation
    •  It involves stating the purpose and scope of study and objectives or research to guard against digression. It also involves identifying the location for the research, familiarization with earlier works on the study or literature review, establishing contact with useful people like informants, deciding on the key methods to be used in collecting data e.g. questionnaires or interviews, securing permissions to conduct research from relevant authorities, buying or hiring of recording materials and budgeting for accommodation and transport.
  2.  Material Collection
    •  This is done through various methods of collecting date e.g. interviews, questionnaires, observation etc.
  3.  Recording of Information
    •  Recording is done through writing, typing, using tape recorders etc.
  4.  Processing and Analysis of Information
    •  This involves scrutinising of information collected in preparation for interpretation and documentation, transcription, interpretation, classifying into genres, themes, styles and making a conclusion.
  5.  Dissemination
    • This is the spreading the information gathered through media.

Common Problems Encountered During Field Work

  • Loss of memory especially for details not recorded.
  •  Outrageous demands from sources of information like payments.
  •  Harsh or unpredictable weather.
  •  Breakdown or problems of transportation, delays, hiked fares etc.
  •  Informants giving wrong or distorted information.
  •  Accidents and misfortunes or ill fate e.g. death
  • Sickness in the middle of fieldwork.
  •  Prohibitions, lack of access, customs etc.
  •   Loss of equipment like camera etc.

Field work should be carried out in relevant and appropriate places like rural areas where there is ethnically authentic information and performance; elders would give detailed oral testimony or material, display great experience and skill while children would easily perform riddles, singing games and tongue twisters.

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Read 4928 times Last modified on Monday, 17 January 2022 08:25
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