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American Women in World War II: Oral interview Research Paper


Introduction

The Second World War is an historical event that occurred from 1939 to 1945, but the events that led to its occurrence began much earlier. The major players in the war were world powers that aimed at outperforming each other via the use of two opposing military alliances. It is documented that the 6-year event about one million people who were drawn from thirty countries. It is apparent that women played important roles during the war period. In fact, the participation of women in the event was prepared during the First World War. Previously, women mainly focused on performing domestic duties, which involved being housewives and servants.

The roles that were played by women during the WWII differed from one nation to another. This paper considers the roles that the US women performed during the WWII. It uses an oral interview to gain the views of those who took part in the event. It is important to note that other researchers have utilized oral interviews to gain important information about the topic (Kuh, Hardy, Langenberg, Richards, and Wadsworth 1077; Pesonen, Räikkönen, Heinonen, Kajantie, Forsén and Eriksson 1127). The contribution of the study findings will be essential to both scholars and non-scholars across the world.

Methods

The choice of the best methods is important in any scientific study (Neuman 24). The oral interview concentrated on gaining information from two female respondents who took part in the Second World War. The first interviewee was a 90-year old American who was recruited into the historical event at the age of 23. She spoke with a lot of nostalgia, but she could break down into tears occasionally when she recalled some occurrences of the war.

The second respondent was a 92-year old American woman who was introduced into the world event when she was 20. Unlike the first interviewee, she was more composed and she did not sob at all. The methodological problem faced in the study was that it was difficult to choose the best method to collect data (Neuman 76). In addition, from an interpersonal standpoint, there was a problem of establishing relationships with the interviewees. Finally, situational issues were encountered when the women expressed fears of availing themselves for the interview at some time points of the day.

Interview data

When the interview was being conducted, the interviewer was recording the conversations, which could be analyzed later to learn about important aspects of the topic. Below are the extracts of the main sections of the interview that represent the actual words from the respondents.

Excerpts of the interview with interviewee 1 (90-year old American woman)

Interviewer: Good afternoon madam.

Interviewee: Good afternoon. How may I help you?

Interviewer: I am interested in interviewing you with regard to women’s participation in the Second World War.

Interviewee: Yes, I will give you any information that you may want because I was part of the historical event.

Interviewer: At what age were you recruited?

Interviewee: At 23.

Interviewer: Can you describe your first experience when you joined the military forces?

Interviewee: The first experience was horrible because I was on the battlefront while offering nursing care to injured soldiers. My role was to ensure that military personnel were in good health. I worked in a team that was composed of many healthcare professionals. At first, I could not believe that I was seeing hundreds of soldiers bleeding.

Interviewer: Were there cases of female harassment in the war?

Interviewee: Yes. In fact, many chauvinists could not subscribe to the idea of women taking part in a war to play any role. Such persons could view females as sex objects. It is worth noting that some soldiers raped some of my colleagues.

Interviewer: Finally, what can you describe the participation of women in the war?

Interviewee: First, it was a great improvement and empowerment of women with regard to taking part in events that were previously preserved for men. Secondly, the experiences made women to encourage others and let them know that they had a huge potential to protect their nations.

Interviewer: Thank you so much for the interview.

Interviewee: You are welcome.

Excerpts of the interview with interviewee 2 (92-year old American woman)

Interviewer: Good morning.

Interviewee: Good morning. How may I help you?

Interviewer: I am interested in interviewing you with regard to women’s participation in the Second World War.

Interviewee: I would be more than willing to offer you any information, having participated in the event as a woman.

Interviewer: At what age were you recruited?

Interviewee: At 20.

Interviewer: How can you describe your first experience when you joined the military forces?

Interviewee: It was very shocking to see injured human beings who were in dire need of medical care. I had just graduated from college, but working in the war was the last thing that I had anticipated. I was involved in military logistical support.

Interviewer: Were there cases of female harassment in the war?

Interviewee: Personally, I was not harassed, but my female colleagues could confide in me that some soldiers had harassed them sexually.

Interviewer: Finally, what can you describe the participation of women in the war?

Interviewee: I believe that the historical event prepared women across the world to take part in more activities, most of which were a preserve of men.

Interviewer: Thank you so much for the interview.

Interviewee: You are welcome.

Significance of the findings

The findings are important because they provide essential information with regard to the roles of women in WWII. In addition to providing personal experiences of the two women respondents, the findings give an overview of the situation in the war. Such an overview could be utilized to make important conclusions about several aspects of the historical event (Braybon and Summerfield 65). For example, it can be asserted that women a significant number of women provided medical and logistical support rather than being involved in actual fighting (Kuh et al 1078; Pesonen et al 1128).

Conclusion

Interpretation of the contents of the interview can be done on the platforms of theory and history. Several theoretical approaches have been made with regard to the roles of women in the WWII. It is worth understanding that a war can be likened to an organism, which is composed of different systems. This view is proposed by the systems theory.

Thus, it can be interpreted that women took part in the event to make military forces of various countries achieve their goals. In other words, their services were aimed at supplementing those of men. From an historical standpoint, it can be concluded that women have been taking part in important events that could protect their nations. Historically, the Second World War was critical in preparing women to take up positions that were previously held by men. Thus, the findings of the oral interview are in agreement with previous studies that have been conducted with regard to the topic.

Works Cited

Braybon, Gail, and Penny Summerfield. Out of the cage: Women’s experiences in two world wars. Vol. 5. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2012. Print.

Kuh, Diana, Rebecca Hardy, Claudia Langenberg, Marcus Richards, and Michael Wadsworth. “Mortality in adults aged 26-54 years related to socioeconomic conditions in childhood and adulthood: post war birth cohort study.” Bmj 325.7372 (2002): 1076-1080. Print.

Neuman, William. Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2010. Print.

Pesonen, Anu-Katriina, Katri Räikkönen, Kati Heinonen, Eero Kajantie, Tom Forsén, and Johan Eriksson. “Depressive symptoms in adults separated from their parents as children: a natural experiment during World War II.” American journal of epidemiology 166.10 (2007): 1126-1133. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 16). American Women in World War II: Oral interview. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-women-in-world-war-ii-oral-interview/

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"American Women in World War II: Oral interview." IvyPanda, 16 June 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/american-women-in-world-war-ii-oral-interview/.

1. IvyPanda. "American Women in World War II: Oral interview." June 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-women-in-world-war-ii-oral-interview/.


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IvyPanda. "American Women in World War II: Oral interview." June 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-women-in-world-war-ii-oral-interview/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "American Women in World War II: Oral interview." June 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-women-in-world-war-ii-oral-interview/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'American Women in World War II: Oral interview'. 16 June.

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