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Relaciones. Estudios de historia y sociedad

On-line version ISSN 2448-7554Print version ISSN 0185-3929


IGLESIAS LESAGA, Esther. Reflections on the Methodological Importance of Orality for Economic History. Relac. Estud. hist. soc. [online]. 2011, vol.32, n.128, pp.289-314. ISSN 2448-7554.

The objective of this study is to demonstrate the presence of silenced actors in history. To this end, we propose to examine the benefits of using oral narratives as a complementary tool in elaborating research in economic and social history. It is suggested that oral narratives can be tools in the search for new subjects of history; silenced voices behind institutions or governors. The discourse traverses history and memory to justify the intentions of those silenced subjects in a new scenario; individuals who, up to the mid-20th century, were recognized geo-graphically but had no voice of their own in theoretical-historical works. To the degree that oral narrative not only gives voice to those who have been silenced, but also displays the everydayness of spaces that economic history has examined by ascertaining their systemic cycles and rhythms, it reveals the complementary part of this scenario; that is, the context in which new actors intervene with an alternative and/or complementary discourse in order to articulate the objectified domain of a study. On the basis of fieldwork in the agrarian, henequen-producing zone of Yucatán in the 1970s, we present data to illustrate the scope and richness of oral narrative as a methodological tool.

Keywords : narrative; testimony; memory; history; new actors.

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