Psychology

Title

Small stories as a new perspective in narrative and identity analysis

Document Type

Article

Abstract

In this article, we depart from our recent work on 'small stories', which we propose as an antidote to canonical narrative studies, and we advance our argumentation by sketching out a five-step analytical operation for tapping into small stories as sites of identity work. These steps grow out of the model of positioning (as put forward by Bamberg 1997, and elaborated in Bamberg 2004a; cf. also Georgakopoulou 2000) that succeeds in navigating between the two extreme ends of fine-grained micro analysis and macro accounts. We will work with positioning in the close analysis of a small story event (as part of a moderated group discussion involving ten-year-old boys in an American school) in which we will show how the teller's announcement of the story, the subsequent withdrawal, and the pre-telling negotiation with the interlocutors are as integral parts of our analysis as the actual telling. We will also demonstrate how viewing story content as a function of interactional engagement opens up new insights into identity constructions of sameness in the face of adversative conditions and constant change. © 2008 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG.

Publication Title

Text and Talk

Publication Date

12-1-2008

Volume

28

Issue

3

First Page

377

Last Page

396

ISSN

1860-7330

DOI

10.1515/TEXT.2008.018

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