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'The thing that made me hesitate…' : re‐examining gendered intersubjectivities in interviews with British secret war veterans

Pattinson, J.S. (2011) 'The thing that made me hesitate…' : re‐examining gendered intersubjectivities in interviews with British secret war veterans. Women's History Review, 20 (2). pp. 245-263. ISSN 0961-2025

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Abstract

The composure of subjective identities in the oral history interview has been the subject of recent research, yet the extent to which gendered intersubjectivity is a dynamic process shaping the content and form of interviewees' testimonies remains unclear. This article draws upon interviews with fifty-eight male and female veterans who belonged to the Special Operations Executive, a Second World War organisation that equipped the resistance. While gender is important, impacting upon the conversations and exposing itself through particular narrative forms, it can be easy to become too preoccupied with gender, which can mask other dynamics, such as social status and generation. Moreover, while intersubjectivity can impact upon the narratives composed, its effect on the content of the testimony may be marginal as stories of life experience can be more resilient.