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Vulnerable Communities

Understanding the power dynamics involved in any oral history interview is essential for ethical work in this field. This is especially important when working with vulnerable populations—including but not limited to the following: those who might be put in danger or face harm by publicly sharing their experience; legal minors, and others with limited agency and freedom, and those with impaired ability to fully consent. Examples of groups of people who may fit this description include those who have lived through traumatic experiences and those who discuss or describe activities, such as immigration, that could technically violate state or federal laws.


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