Small Stories, Interaction and Identities

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Narrative research is frequently described as a diverse enterprise, yet the kinds of narrative data that it bases itself on present a striking consensus: they tend to be autobiographical and elicited in interviews. This book sets out to carve out a space alongside this narrative canon for stories that have not made it to the mainstream of narrative and identity analysis, yet they abound as well as being crucial sites of subjectivity in everyday interactional contexts. By labelling those stories as ‘small’, the book emphasizes their distinctiveness, both interactionally and as an antidote to the tradition of ‘grand’ narratives research. Drawing primarily on the audio-recorded small stories of a group of female adolescents that was studied ethnographically in a town in Greece, the book follows a language-focused and practice-based approach in order to provide fresh answers and perspectives on some of the perennial questions of narrative analysis: How can we (re)conceptualize the mainstay concepts of tellership, structure and evaluation in small stories? How do the participants’ telling identities connect with their larger social identities? Finally, what does the project of storying self (and other) mean in small stories and how can it be best explored?

Subjects: Discourse studies; Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; Pragmatics

  • Affiliations: 1: King's College London

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