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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 1, 2012

Narrative as a toolkit for identity performance

Kamila Ciepiela


This study focuses on how adolescent females use discursive tools in order to get things done in talk. The focus of the analysis falls on situated narratives that speakers adapt in the context of wanting to simultaneously affiliate with, resist, and refine their identity. The claim made in this study is that the telling of small stories in a conversation does not only provide the connective tissue for the projection of identity but also binds interactants together. Also it will be argued that the stories coalesce in the course of their tellings with links to previous, present and future interactions, as well as to other tellings. Finally, the discussion will look into the implications of narratives-in-interaction for identity research. It will be argued that the telling of situated narratives is a privileged communication mode for the construction of discursive identities, provided tellers use them proficiently and skillfully. The conversations selected for the analysis are a part of longer interaction between three girls in early adolescence. The conversations, in Polish, were audio recorded, transcribed and subsequently translated into English.

Received: 2011-11-01
Revised: 2011-12-20
Accepted: 2011-12-23
Published Online: 2012
Published in Print: 2012

© School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland, 2012