Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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The goal of this research is to understand how Native American storytellers challenge stereotypes and reclaim ‘authentic identities’ for themselves and their listeners with the stories that they tell. Employing qualitative methodology — thematic analysis, grounded theory, and narrative analysis — I examine one hundred and three stories featured on two affiliated websites that have recorded stories told by Native American elders, historians, storytellers, and song carriers. I find that the storytellers construct subversive narratives that challenge “the Native American” stereotypes, mythologies, and formula stories that circulate through the dominant culture. Temporal shifting, a new concept I develop in this paper, facilitates in the construction of what the storytellers believe to be an “authentic” identity. Temporal shifting, as I define it, is the past/present division in the double-consciousness of a marginalized person — it is a tool used to construct subversive stories. This research expands sociological understanding of Native Americans in general and Native American storytellers, in particular. I also introduce a new concept, temporal shifting, to the fields of critical race theory, cognitive sociology, and symbolic interactionism as an analytical device to use when looking at marginalized peoples’ narrative identities.


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