Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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Big stories are typically characterized by a high degree of reflexivity, which results in the construction of a fairly coherent — or even “rehearsed” — identity that is acceptable from a contemporary viewpoint. This article focuses on the life story of a former SS Leibstandarte soldier elicited by means of an interview. Most of the analysis confirms this idea of the construction of a “rehearsed” self, since the narrator consistently presents himself as a peaceful man who did not agree with Hitler’s regime. However, although rarely, the interviewee self-initiates stories that do not perfectly match this identity construction. These stories all contain highly reportable events, in which most attention is paid to enhancing credibility instead of making them conform to the prevalent identity construction. This demonstrates that also in big stories, the activity of narrating takes place in the here and now, thus making an audience-oriented criterion such as reportability so important that contradictions of this “rehearsed” identity may occur.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): big story; identity construction; reflexivity; reportability; Second World War
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