Kohtaamisia kerronnan tilassa

Mielisairaalapotilaita koskevan muistelukerronnan rakentuminen

  • Anna Kinnunen


This article studies the construction of oral history about mental hospital patients. As
research material, four interviews concerning the patients of a former mental hospital in
eastern Finland are analysed. The interviewees’ relationships to the hospital vary from
a decades-long working relationship to a relatively distant contact of a local inhabitant.
The aim is to explore the ways that the interviewees are using when talking about the
unclear dimensions of normality, abnormality, and otherness.
The narration is analysed by means of the concepts of master narrative and counter
narrative. The concept of master narrative is used in the meaning of a dominant cultural
interpretation, which is activated in the interviews and is guiding the narration. Its essence
is reflected in counter narratives, by which the interviewees are trying to challenge
dominant interpretations concerning mental hospital patients.
The social and dynamic nature of narratives is underlined by approaching oral history
as narrative space which is formed in the cultural and social encounters of the narration.
The article discusses how oral history is constructed as a space in which the interviewees
position themselves, and the way that the interviewee and the persons in their narrations
are commensurate to the master narrative.
Kinnunen, A. (2013). Kohtaamisia kerronnan tilassa: Mielisairaalapotilaita koskevan muistelukerronnan rakentuminen. Elore, 20(2). https://doi.org/10.30666/elore.79086