Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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In this article I discuss how conversational narrative is used to frame and manage social relationships. I refer to theories and questions that sparked my research and describe how I came to take my stance as participant observer. My role as participant influenced ongoing decisions about collection and analysis of conversational material. In turn, these decisions influenced the research outcome. Here I introduce story exchange types, analytic units devised to study how we enact social relations through conversational narrative. To illustrate, I give two brief examples; one experience is reciprocated, the other is not. While these examples provide only a partial glimpse into various social transactions, taken together they represent a pivotal difference: participants use or refuse stories as they engage with others in talk. My position corroborates the work of scholars who argue for an interactive, dialogic approach to the study of discourse. All participants in conversational discourse transmit cultural norms. Through everyday talk we construe “reality” for ourselves.


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