It is good to ask good questions – posing questions in oral history interview as a theoretical problem


  • Marcin Jarząbek Instytut Historii Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, Polska


Słowa kluczowe:

oral history, metodologia oral history, źródło historyczne, wywiad, teoria oral history, pytania w historii ustnej


The author discusses an issue of forming questions in oral history. There are two types of them – research questions and interview questions. Instead of analyzing how to ask questions, the interviewer should rather focus on why to ask them. The article proves that asking questions in oral history is less about formal elements such as what language should be used or what matters should be raised, but more about such elements as emotions or the overall atmosphere of an interview. The author gives some clues on how to prepare proper questions, what difficulties may appear and what to avoid in order to carry out a good interview.


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Biogram autora

Marcin Jarząbek - Instytut Historii Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, Polska

Marcin Jarząbek – historian and sociologist; assistant professor in the Institute of History at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Studied in Jagiellonian University and in Central European University in Budapest. Doctoral dissertation (defended in 2014) was dedicated to the collective memory of the First World War veterans in interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia. Member of the Board of the Polish Oral History Association.


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Jak cytować

Jarząbek, M. (2016). It is good to ask good questions – posing questions in oral history interview as a theoretical problem. Wrocławski Rocznik Historii Mówionej, 6, 21–32.



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