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Socialist Modernisation in Mongolia as Narrated after Socialism

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image of Inner Asia

In this article I introduce our collection of oral histories composed of life histories recorded between 2001 and 2006. First, I discuss some devices implemented in the process of collecting life histories, which was to make oral histories 'polyphonic'. I then suggest that oral history always has a 'dual' tense, in that people talk about 'the past' from the view point of 'the present'. This is illustrated by six cases of statesmen narrating their views about socialist modernisation. Finally, using one of the cases, I demonstrate the co-existence of non-official or private opinions along with official opinions about the socialist period in life-history narratives in the post-socialist period. I call this 'ex-post value'.


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