The soldiers’ memoirs involved in the warfare as an example of additional materials in biographical research
The aim of the article is an attempt to explore the role of personal documents in sociological research. I asked myself whether it makes sense to use those documents as an additional material describing the problems raised by people with whom I carry out biographical interviews. The interviews were conducted with soldiers and former soldiers, participants of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. During and after the interviews have emerged some problems, which I did not predict, and which surprised me and have prompted to look at my research in a new way. Those problems are related with important issues concerning: ethical research, the role of the researcher, its impact on research, as well as the fear of trivialization of research. I think that the memoirs, as a particular kind of personal documents, may complement my research or be a material illustrating states of mind of the soldiers involved in the war and their readaptation to the everyday life after returning a home. The validity of those documents is also significant because the material is free from the influence of research situations and gives the possibility to scrutinize the reflexive consciousness and individual sphere of writer’s knowledge, which is not always be revealed during the biographical interview.