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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.400
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CiteScore 2018: 0.61

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Volume 28, Issue 3


Who tells which story and why? Micro and macro contexts in narrative

Anna de Fina
Published Online: 2008-05-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2008.020


This article focuses on the inter-relations between storytelling and micro and macro contexts. It explores how narrative activity is shaped by and shapes in unique ways the local context of interaction in a community of practice, an Italian American card-playing club, but also illustrates how the storytelling events that take place within this local community relate to wider social processes. The analysis centers on a number of topically linked narratives to argue that these texts have a variety of functions linked to the roles and relationships negotiated by individuals within the club and to the construction of a collective identity for the community. However, the narrative activities that occur within the club also articulate aspects of the wider social context. It is argued that, in the case analyzed here, local meaning-making activities connect with macro social processes through the negotiation, within the constraints of local practices, of the position and roles of the ethnic group in the wider social space. In this sense, narrative activity can be seen as one of the many symbolic practices (Bourdieu 2002 [1977]) in which social groups engage to carry out struggles for legitimation and recognition in order to accumulate symbolic capital and greater social power.

Keywords:: narrative; identity; Italian Americans; stories; storytelling; migration

About the article

Department of Italian, ICC 307 J, Georgetown University, 37&O Street NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA.

Published Online: 2008-05-27

Published in Print: 2008-05-01

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 28, Issue 3, Pages 421–442, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2008.020.

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© 2008 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin.Get Permission

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