Life History Method
Professor W. I. Thomas and his Polish research partner, Florian Znaniecki, introduced the life history as a research tool in their monumental study, The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. Life histories were created by interviewing a subject or asking the subject to write an autobiographical account. Members of the Chicago School continued to use this technique in a wide variety of contexts for decades. Students in sociology classes were often required to collect life histories. Life histories were precursors to what are now called oral histories.