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Electronic Theses and Dissertations

2017

Sociology

Oral history

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On Growing Up Finnish In The Midwest: A Family Oral History Project, Ingrid Ruth Nixon May 2017

On Growing Up Finnish In The Midwest: A Family Oral History Project, Ingrid Ruth Nixon

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study explores what oral history interviews with my mother reveal about the familial and community dynamics that influenced Finnish-American children growing up on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula between 1930 and 1950. Close to four hours of oral history interviews were conducted with Viola Nixon, who is second and third-generation Finnish-American on her father’s and mother’s sides, respectively. After conducting a narrative analysis of the interviews, five themes emerged as significant to community function: family, language, education, work and church. I grouped some of these themes together to create three stories informed by materials drawn from the interviews ...