The self-interview: a new method in social science research

This article presents the new method of self-interviewing as an empirical tool specifically for use in memory studies research. The article traces some of the empirical limitations specific to the field of memory studies and reviews the existing tools used in this area. It particularly focuses on some of the limitations of qualitative interviewing, the memory work method and diary methods in generating data on the processes of vernacular remembering at the same time as making visible the meaning that remembering has for participants in their everyday lives. We propose the self-interview as a method which addresses some of these limitations. In elaborating the value of the self-interview, we draw extensively on fieldwork that we have conducted using this method. Although the self-interview does not divest memory studies of the need for a range of other methods, the self-interview is an important addition to its currently rather sparse methodological tool kit.