Memory-work is a method developed by feminist researchers during the 1980′s. It is a tool for research and reflection. The method revolves around a set procedure of text-analysis. The texts to be analysed are short personal stories written by the members of a research collective. Hence it is their own experience that is taken as a point of departure for the research process. In a process of investigation the constructions of characters in the stories are referred back to wider social structures. New interpretations are made possible and alternative routes of action come into view.
The role of the researcher in memory-work is shifted towards a notion of the organic intellectual, member of a collective with particular responsibilities. As a research method memory-work deserves much more attention than it enjoys currently.
I am providing here a longer article in which the method is explained and a documentation of its application in the course of the research on reflections of teachers on rituals/ritualisations is included. The article is available as a pdf-file by following this link: memory work.
If after reading the article you are interested to explore the potential of memory-work yourself and you would like to get support please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always interested in further applications of the method myself. The latest project in which it was employed and I was involved consisted of a review of the ethical principle of Open Communication at Sligo School Project.
As an external source I wish to also point to Frigga Haug’s introduction of the method which is available here.