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Memory-Work: ‘My Heart Is Singing’: Women Giving Meaning to Leisure

By: Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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As I embarked on my master's research in 1992, women's experiences and the meanings of these experiences as leisure were almost invisible in the literature comprising the field of leisure studies. When women's experiences of leisure did surface, these experiences were trivialised; women were classified as ‘other’ or as a problem group to be studied only after norms had been derived from men's experiences. This case study introduces the method of memory-work used in my master's research. It begins with my personal story of the journey that led me to research women's leisure. To encourage readers to try the process of memory-work for themselves, the case study includes a detailed account of each of the six phases of memory-work as applied in my master's research. The case study shares the nitty-gritty of memory-work, the challenges (and there were many) and the many benefits for the researcher and co-researchers. The case study invites active reading by including throughout ‘boxes’ containing reflective questions prompted by the surrounding material. Included at the end are some questions to provoke further collective and individual reflection on ‘doing’ memory-work.

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