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Small stories : a narrative-discursive approach to self & identity The narrative canon –Narrative as representations Departure from the canon –Narratives.

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Presentation on theme: "Small stories : a narrative-discursive approach to self & identity The narrative canon –Narrative as representations Departure from the canon –Narratives."— Presentation transcript:

1 small stories : a narrative-discursive approach to self & identity The narrative canon –Narrative as representations Departure from the canon –Narratives as actions/interactions process orientation –Small stories as means to analyze “identities-in- interaction” > Example (“I’m Shaggy”) Wrap up ( how ‘small stories’ contribute ) APA 2005 Narrative Psychology --- State of the Art Michael Bamberg Thanks to Alexandra Georgakopoulou

2 ing Stories versus Narrating Stories & Life as ‘resource’ –We HAVE a life/story (to tell) (as resource) –“Life is meaningful coz it’s a story” –Stories as an Epistemology anti-positivist methodology in the social sciences Narrative as social interaction –stories-in-interaction (= “small stories”) as ‘navigating’ through ‘interactive trouble’ –stories are situated actions ðRitualized/habitual performances - sedimented through iterative performances - hailing subjects into being ( potential of resulting in ‘identity’) ðWhere selves ( identities ) come to existence (EMERGE)

3 Analysis of stories versus narrating (as an activity) Analysis of STORIES –Themes (partic. how ‘self’ is “thematized”) –Coherence (underlying ‘sense’ of a unified self) INGAnalysis of NARRATING –interactive operations – –discursive resources – –Discursive POSITIONS

4 Open Issues   where small stories might be worthwhile Overemphasis on stories about ‘the self’ –Underplaying/-theorizing stories we tell about others Overemphasis on ‘long stories’ (interviews) cutting out/devaluating everyday, small stories cutting out re-tellings, allusions to tellings, refusals to tell Overemphasis on ‘past’ and ‘single’ events Cutting out/devaluating ongoing stories, stories about future, hypothetical events Cutting out/devaluating stories as trajectories, intertextual links between stories

5 small stories Relationship between Canon and small stories Complementation –How does this unified sense of self come to existence (issue of development + acculturation)? how does the person in his/her particular culture and socio- historical context learn to “sort out” what is called life - and what makes life “worth living” (=what constitutes a ‘good’ life and a ‘good’ story) Contrast –Differences in terms of ‘identity’, ‘development’, ‘narrative’, ‘language/discourse’, ‘entitlement +power’ …

6 Identifying + Analysing ‘small stories’ “narratives-in-interaction” Three levels of POSITIONING –Characters are positioned vis-à-vis one another Who is doing what to whom? –Speaker and audience are positioning each other Lecturing, advice giving, accounting, etc –Speaker positions ‘a self’ / his/her ‘identity’ Expert identity, hetero-sexual self, masculine identity Positions as interactively accomplished ( in and through the use of discourse )

7 expl :“It wasn’t me, hey, I’m Shaggy” > Same group of ten-year-olds + adult moderator Moderator question: “what do YOU boys find attractive in girls?” –borrowing ‘a male friend’ and ‘a girl’ positioning level 1 –borrowing another speaker positioning level 2 –borrowing ‘Shaggy’ positioning level 3 lines…

8 ‘Shaggy’ It wasn’t me Honey came in and she caught me red-handed it wasn’t me CHORUS: but she caught me on the counter it wasn’t me saw me banging on the sofa it wasn’t me I even had her in the shower it wasn’t me she even caught me on camera it wasn’t me

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10 Moderator question: “what do YOU boys find attractive in girls?” –borrowing ‘a male friend’ and ‘a girl’ > Positioning level 1 –borrowing another ‘speaker’ > Positioning level 2 –borrowing ‘Shaggy’ > Positioning level 3

11 simple explanation: –Attraction talk is “trouble talk”: Getting caught admiring girls (by ‘whooing’ their body parts or engaging in ‘attraction-talk’) makes you vulnerable “borrowing” the Shaggy persona seems to be a way out of this more complex issues: There are cues orienting toward the project at work that this isn’t meant to be taken seriously Display of equivocating positions in order to avoid ‘fixity’ and simultaneously engage in relational friendship-work …what this.. my frie:nd..what his frie:nd…

12 ‘Shaggy’ as an example of ‘identity displays’ avoiding fixitywith different identity positions “WITHIN the same speaker” (“voices”)

13 Kind of conclusion Speaking to narrative inquiry audiences Informing narrative inquiry approaches –reflecting ‘texts’ + ‘contexts’ –re-considering the use of stories in interviews –de-emphasizing stories as ‘method’ Emergence of a “sense of self” SMALL STORIES ---by way of studying the SMALL STORIES people tell in their EVERYDAY interactions Identity Development as Process �

14 Speaking to broader audiences Re-theorizing ‘narrative’Re-theorizing ‘narrative’ –Revisiting defintitinal criteria of ‘narrative’ rethinking the prototype (thematic coherence, structural unity, low vs high tellability, etc.) what ‘other’ kinds of (other than personal, past-event, experiential) narratives ? Increasing analytical compatabilityIncreasing analytical compatability –Cross-fertilization with interactional paradigms co-construction issue teller-audience-relation accomplishments telling roles, entitlement issues, empathy etc. Rethinking + reformulating the ‘voices approach’


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