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Narrative Analysis

Michael Bamberg Clark University

In H. Cooper (Editor-in-chief), APA handbook of research methods in psychology (3 volumes). Washington, DC !"! "ress.

*Contact address: Michael Bamberg Clark University Department of Psychology 95 Main !treet "orcester# M$ %&% U!$ mbamberg'clark()ed(

*on sabbatical (ntil $(g(st + % # please contact (sing email address,

-here are a n(mber of different connotations that are commonly connected to the (se of the terms narrative research# narrative in.(iry# and narrative analysis//connotations that intersect and often contrib(te to the impression of narrative research as comple0 and m(ltilayered# if not conf(sing) 1ne of the most central 2ays this comple0ity plays o(t is in 2hat can be taken as the most basic intersection# namely bet2een research on narratives# 2here narratives are the ob3ect of st(dy# and research with narratives# 2here narratives are the tools to e0plore something else// typically aspects of h(man memory or e0perience) 1ne of the goals of this chapter is to 2ork thro(gh some of the comple0ity and to make recommendations for ho2 to follo2 methodical proced(res 2hen 2orking with narratives//proced(res that are b(ilt on# and follo2 insights gained from# 2ork on narratives) -he chapter is divided into t2o parts# follo2ed by a brief s(mmary and reflection) -he first part presents an overvie2 on the topic of narrative methods 2ith the aim to sho2 ho2 different research .(estions and different research traditions have informed and led to 2hat falls broadly (nder the p(rvie2 of narrative methods) -he second part of the chapter feat(res an analysis of a story that 2ill ill(strate ho2 traditions and .(estions sampled in the first part of the chapter can be applied# and contrib(te to ans2er a n(mber of different research .(estions) -h(s# in contrast to the traditional recipe approach starting 2ith a .(estion and from there moving on to (sing the methodologically appropriate toolbo0 to ans2er the .(estion# this chapter proposes a different ro(te: 4t presents a sampling of methods in order to reveal different strategies for ho2 to pose interesting research .(estions) 4n essence# the reader is not given a recipe for ho2 to arrive at good narrative research5 rather# if the insight is along the lines of 6oh# no2 4 kno2 ho2 to pose

my research .(estion that can be follo2ed by (se of narrative methods#7 the goal of this chapter has been accomplished) Part 1---The project of narrative analysis Why narrative? $n e0amination of narrative analysis m(st begin 2ith a definition of 2hat 2e mean by narrative) 8et me start 2ith a provisional definition of narrative that 2ill be revisited thro(gho(t this chapter: "hen narrators tell a story# they give 9narrative form: to e0perience) -hey position characters in space and time and# in a very broad sense# give order to and make sense of 2hat happened//or 2hat is imagined to have happened) -h(s# it can be arg(ed# that narratives attempt to explain or normalize 2hat has occ(rred5 they lay o(t 2hy things are the 2ay they are or have become the 2ay they are) ;arrative# therefore# can be said to provide a portal into t2o realms: *i, the realm of e0perience# 2here speakers lay o(t ho2 they as individ(als e0perience certain events and confer their s(b3ective meaning onto these e0periences5 and *ii, the realm of narrative means *or devices, that are p(t to (se in order to make *this, sense) 4n the first instance# 2e typically enco(nter research with narrative and in the second# on narrative) $t this point# 2e have not specified 2hether narrators employ narrative means to make sense to others in comm(nicative and interactive settings or 2hether narrators attempt to make sense to themselves# as 2hen 2riters 2rite for themselves# or clients speak 9in search of their selves: in a therape(tic setting) "e have f(rther left (nspecified 2hether narrators talk abo(t themselves# i)e)# tell personal e0periences they imagined or (nder2ent in person *first/person e0periences,# or 2hether they talk abo(t the e0periences of others//even fictionally invented others *third/person e0periences,) <(rther belo2 2e also 2ill look more closely into the kinds of e0periences or

themes that are config(red into meaningf(l (nits by (se of different narrative means) "hile all these iss(es are important# 2e 2ill start 2ith a closer characteri=ation of narrative analysis) The project of narrative analysis "hile it is perfectly reasonable to collect narratives of people:s e0periences and archive them in te0t(al# a(dio or video format so they can be accessed later on by those interested in them# the pro3ect of narrative analysis involves more) !tarting again from a provisional and broad definition# one that re.(ires more specification# narrative analysis attempts to systematically relate the narrative means deployed for the f(nction of laying o(t and making sense of partic(lar kinds of# if not totally (ni.(e# e0periences) >ere# narrative analysts can place more 2eight on analy=ing the narrative means5 or the intention may be to e0trapolate and better (nderstand partic(lar e0periences) 1f co(rse# in the best of all 2orlds# both approaches inform each other# i)e)# that learning more abo(t narrative means improves o(r analysis of 2hat narratives are (sed for//and vice versa) 4n any case tho(gh# narrative analysts are re.(ired to lay o(t the relationship bet2een narrative means and e0perience that is constit(ted by s(ch means in order to make transparent and doc(ment ho2 they arrive at their interpretive concl(sions) "henever the analytic foc(s is on the narrative means# .(alitative and .(antitative approaches have been employed side/by/side 2ith little 3oint consideration) ?0plorations of ho2 children learn to (se narrative means that establish characters in a story# ho2 to tie cla(ses together into meaningf(l episodes# or ho2 to eval(ate 2hat is going on from an overarching perspective# have t(rned (p elaborate coding systems that allo2 cross/age and cross/ling(istic .(antitative comparisons# delivering insights into the ac.(isition of narrative competencies) <(rther research into comparisons bet2een first/ and second/lang(age learners: narrative means and the means and strategies (sed in atypical pop(lations *e)g) Do2n syndrome and a(tism, have

led to interesting applied fields s(ch as literacy ed(cation and parental training in narrative intervention programs) ;arrative in.(iry that is more interested in ho2 meaning is conferred onto e0perience# especially in narratives of personal e0perience abo(t concrete life sit(ations *starting from e0periences s(ch as menarche or first romantic involvements to larger research .(estions s(ch as divorce# professional identity//all the 2ay (p to aging and life satisfaction, has traditionally leaned more to2ard the employment of .(alitative research proced(res) -he relationships bet2een the (se of concrete narrative means for the constr(ction of highly s(b3ective and very specific life sit(ations (p to retrospective eval(ations of life co(rses is open to both .(antitative and .(alitative analytic proced(res) >o2ever# in the follo2ing# 4 2ill foc(s more strongly on narrative analysis as a .(alitative research method//tho(gh pointing to2ard possibilities for other research practices# 2henever appropriate) The emergence of narrative analysis >aving clarified that narrative analysis is invested in both the means and the 2ay these means are p(t to (se to arrive at presentations and interpretations of meaningf(l e0periences# 2e can t(rn to a brief genealogy of the emergence of narrative analysis in the social sciences# and# more specifically# in the discipline of psychology) 4n order to get a clearer conception of 2hat sp(rred the recent s(rge of interest in narrative and narrative methods# as 2ell as to better (nderstand debates among proponents of different analytic practices# it is 2orth2hile to disting(ish bet2een *i, ho2 it 2as possible that narratives have become accepted as a genre that seems to closely reflect people:s sense making strategies//partic(larly narratives of lives# as in *a(to/,biography# life 2riting# confessions and other disclos(res of identity5 *ii, ho2 narrative co(ld catap(lt into the role of a method//one that is said to be the main portal into individ(al and

comm(nal sense making# e0perience# and s(b3ectivity5 and *iii, ho2 there are differences *and commonalities, bet2een a variety of narrative methods that are seemingly competing 2ith one another as analytic tools) 4 2ill t(rn to briefly consider these distinctions (nder the headers of narrative as genre# narrative as method# and narrative methods) Narrative as genre !tories and story/telling practices are ass(med to be closely tied (p 2ith the phylogenesis of lang(age# h(man social formations and the historically emerging vision of individ(ality and the modern person) ?arly narrative forms# reaching back as far as %5 BC?# reflect forms of

recorded historical e0perience in epic formats and are arg(ed to be instr(mental in the creation of comm(nal *tribal, ed(cation) 4n the co(rse of sociogenesis# the epic form is 3oined and partly replaced by folk tales# fables# travelog(es//all already foreshado2ing the rise of the romantic fiction and the novel# starting aro(nd %+ and c(lminating in ?(rope bet2een %& /%@5 ) -he

ne2 and innovative narrative techni.(es p(t to (se in these genres//in concert 2ith the development of the print c(lt(re//gave rise to the 2riting *and reading, of letters# confessions and memoirs) -his in t(rn fed readers: interest in personal histories# the biography# life history# and a(to/biographies//all making (se of temporal se.(ences of lived events for a systematic and self/reflective .(est of the *a(thentic, self) ;otably# the story/character in these .(ests# the person the story is centrally abo(t# is becoming more and more open to be constr(ed in terms of change and personal development) ?n ro(te from the epic via the novel to the biography# narrative has emerged as a ne2 b(t central formatting device for the organi=ation of self and *modern, identity) 4t s(ccessf(lly fed the commonly shared belief that 2ho 2e are# or 2ho 2e think 2e are# is reali=ed in the stories 2e tell abo(t o(rselves5 everyone not only has a story b(t also has a right to tell their story *Bamberg# + % b,) -h(s# not only is the .(est for the modern


self in the form of the who-am-I .(estion deeply rooted in the history of narrative# b(t# in addition# the story act(ally becomes the very data to be analy=ed 2hen seeking ans2ers to the 2ho/am/4 .(estion) -he reali=ation that the *modern, self is open to change# and that the means for act(al change have to 2ork thro(gh the narrative# has led to a second 2ave of interest in narrative) 4n keeping 2ith the 6therape(tic narrative of selfhood7 *4llo(=# + A, and its in3(nction 6that 2e

become o(r 9most complete: and 9self/reali=ed: selves7 *p) %@+,# 2e are contin(o(sly (rged to seek o(t the problem in o(r narrative# the one that is ca(sing o(r lack of f(lfillment and the s(ffering that comes in its 2ake) Bro(nding 9the problem: in some previo(s events# often reaching back into childhood e0periences# and establishing a narrative connection that has led to the problem# not only is said to enhance self/reflection b(t is regarded the first step in a healing e0ercise that is s(pposed to free the narrator of 9the problem: and the s(ffering it ca(ses) ;arrative self/reflection# in con3(nction 2ith narrative self/disclos(re# are taken to form the cornerstones of a narratively gro(nded approach to a rationally/refle0ively monitoring of selfhood) Narrative as method "hile the relationship bet2een narrative and identity has been theori=ed by philosophers# historians# literary critics and psychologists *among others,# credit for moving the narrative mode of sense/making into a special stat(s belongs to Br(ner *%9A&# %99%, and 8yotard *%9AC,) 8yotard and Br(ner have arg(ed cogently that there are t2o kinds of sense/making modes# 2hich stand in opposition to one another: one best characteri=ed as a 6logico/scientific7 mode# and the other# often (nderrated and neglected# as a narrative mode of ordering e0perience and making sense) Both methods of kno2ing rely on different proced(res for verification# 2ith narrative


kno2ing centering aro(nd the partic(larity and specificity of 2hat occ(rred# and the involvement *and acco(ntabilityDresponsibility, of h(man agents in bringing abo(t these specific and incidental events) -h(s# vie2ing narrative as a basic h(man method to make sense is more than sharing ho2 sense has been made in the form of stories) -he term narrative as method implies a general approach that vie2s the individ(al 2ithin their social environments as actively conferring meaning onto ob3ects in the 2orld# incl(ding others and selves5 the 2ay this happens in everyday sit(ations# as 2ell as in intervie2s or s(rveys# is necessarily s(b3ective and interpretive) 4f narrative is elevated into 6the primary form by 2hich h(man e0perience is made meaningf(l7 *Polkinghorne# %9AA# p) %,# then it makes sense to arg(e that the stories 2e tell are s(ch beca(se they reflect the stories we are *Mc$dams# %99E5 Fandall# %995,) -apping into these narrative processes of meaning making tho(gh is not (nproblematic) <or one# there are different stories abo(t o(rselves *or 2hat 2e tell o(r e0perience to be, at different occasions) $nd the 2ays these occasions are bro(ght off impacts on the internal organi=ation of 2hat is being told# its content matters# and the meaning that both teller and a(dience may take from them) $ f(rther problem is the often claimed ass(mption that the sharing of narratives abo(t sit(ations in 2hich narrative meaning has been conferred onto others and selves is open to reflection and seemingly transparent to both narrator and a(dience *see >oll2ay G Hefferson# + A# for a criti.(e of this ass(mption,) $ltho(gh narratives can become# and in

partic(lar settings can be (sed as# reflective means# there is no a priori reason to render stories (nanaly=ed as reflections of s(b3ectivities or presentations of participants: 6o2n7 voices *B(bri(m G >olstein# + 9,) >o2ever# a more dangero(s stance may be l(rking in the narrative

as method metaphor 2hen life and e0perience are leveled as narrative so that not only h(man kno2ledge b(t also interactive practices# partic(larly intervie2s# become narrative in.(iry and

bl(r the bo(ndaries bet2een (s as living o(r stories and (s as analy=ing the stories of others) 4t sho(ld be noted that even if narrative is elevated into a central or even primary method of sense making# it still needs to be open to interpretation and reinterpretation5 and interpretation re.(ires laying open the angles and perspectives from 2here meaning is being conferred# and scr(tini=ing the methods employed by narrators in arriving at their stories *and lives,) Narrative methods "hile the arg(ment for narrative as method 2as instr(mental for a great n(mber of in.(iries into the personal sense making of e0perience *in different disciplines and on different e0periential topics,# narrative as method is to be kept separate from 2hat has traditionally been held (nder the p(rvie2 of narrative methods) ;arratives 2hether ac.(ired thro(gh partic(lar elicitation techni.(es# s(ch as intervie2ing# or 6fo(nd7 in nat(ral *private# p(blic# or instit(tionali=ed, interactional settings# typically are the res(lt of a research stance or orientation) Critical vis/I/vis traditional s(rvey practices# the narrative intervie2 2as designed and aimed to overcome the common tendency to radically deconte0t(ali=e and disconnect the respondents: meaning making efforts from the concrete setting for 2hich they originally 2ere designed and from the larger socio/c(lt(ral gro(nds of meaning prod(ction *Mishler# %9A&# p) +&,) 4n recent years# a n(mber of .(alitative# in/depth intervie2ing techni.(es have been designed to elicit e0plicitly narrative acco(nts//some open/ended and (nstr(ct(red# others semi/str(ct(red and g(ided5 the free association narrative interview method *>oll2ay G Hefferson# + A,# the

biographic-narrative interpretive method//an intervie2 techni.(e that leads into personal e0perience# lived sit(ations and life/histories *"engraf# + *>iles G CermJk# + A,# to name a fe2) &,# or narrative oriented inquiry

"hile the foc(s on different methods in 9narrative intervie2ing: has led to interesting insights into the relationships bet2een narrative form and content in the face of different elicitation strategies# others have taken this to p(sh more in the direction of caref(lly considering the conditions (nder 2hich narrative means are employed in narrative practices) -he notion of narrative practices here incorporates intervie2ing practices of all kinds# incl(ding foc(s or brainstorming gro(ps# and also opens (p the field for narrative in.(iry into instit(tional and everyday storytelling practices s(ch as d(ring dinnertime# sleepovers and on schoolyards# in co(rtrooms# $$ meetings or d(ring medical anamnesis) 1ne 2ay to differentiate bet2een narrative methods is to rely on the distinction bet2een str(ct(re and performance *Bamberg# %99@,) B(bri(m and >olstein s(ggest a similar bipartite division# one that dra2s on narratives as te0ts and narratives as practice *B(bri(m G >olstein# + 9,) -he st(dy of the te0t(al properties of narratives typically is concerned 2ith the te0t(al

str(ct(ral properties as 2ell as 2ith content in terms of themes and the 2ays characters are presented in *narrated, time and space) -he foc(s on narrative practice 6takes (s o(tside s(ch acco(nts and their transcripts to varied storytelling occasions7 *B(bri(m G >olstein# + +% ,) Fiessman *+ 9# p)

A, s(ggests a tripartite division 2ith regard to different analytic stances

regarding narratives: !he differentiates bet2een thematic# str(ct(ral and dialogicDperformative approaches) "hile thematic approaches are primarily interested in 2hat topically and thematically s(rfaces in the realm of a story:s content# those analysts concerned 2ith a story:s str(ct(re orient more strongly to2ard the ling(istic phenomena as 2ell as the story:s overall se.(ential composition) $nalysts 2ho fall into the third gro(p combine aspects of the previo(s t2o analytic orientations# b(t in addition ask 62ho an (tterance may be directed to# 2hen# and 2hy# that is# for 2hat p(rposesK7 *Fiessman# + A# p)% 5,)


4n the follo2ing# 4 briefly 2ork thro(gh three analytic traditions that differ in terms of their backgro(nd ass(mptions# their basic (nits of analysis# and their proced(ral analytic steps) -hese three analytic traditions are gro(nded in different disciplinary orientations# b(t also ask distinct .(estions and have different p(rposes) -his ne0t section aims to sho2 more clearly 2hat kinds of .(estions open (p 2hen adopting different analytic proced(res) -he first analytic orientation is te0t(al in the sense that its foc(s is on the linear se.(ence of cla(ses//the 2ay narratives are forming cohesive se.(ences of referred/to events) -he second orientation centers aro(nd the overall concept(al str(ct(re of the te0t//the 2ay events are conceived as parts of episodes# 2hich in t(rn are parts of larger thematic str(ct(res s(ch as plots) Both of these traditions typically deal 2ith te0ts# b(t 2ith t2o different orientations5 the first one in terms of a bottom/(p formation process# the second one in terms of a top/do2n formation process) 4n addition# both analytic orientations are dealing 2ith 2hat can best be characteri=ed as monolog(es) $ third orientation comes close to B(bri(m and >olstein:s *+ narrative practice and Fiessman:s *+ 9, analytic foc(s on

A, s(ggestion to foregro(nd the dialogicDperformative

feat(res of the act of telling in the analytic process) 4 am calling this kind of analytic foc(s interactive/performative *Bamberg# %99@5 + % b,) Narrative methods and analytic concepts 4n 2orking thro(gh vario(s approaches a tri/part distinction 2ill be made# tho(gh it is important to note by 2ay of ca(tion that in act(al narrative research the three different approaches that follo2 are often not clearly disting(ishable) ;evertheless# as ideal types they follo2 partic(lar principles and g(idelines) -he p(rpose of the ne0t sections is to be able to concept(ally move 2ithin each of these frame2orks to2ard their different goals) Texts as linguistic structure: ords! sentences and topical cohesiveness


-he preferred definition 2ithin this first method is that a narrative consists of minimally t2o narrative *event, cla(ses# s(ch as: The king died. Then the queen died of grief) Both referred/ to happenings res(lt in the second event# not only temporally follo2ing each other# b(t seen as connected by some form of ca(sal contingency) -his approach to narrative ass(mes that events don:t happen in the 2orld) -he flo2 of contin(o(sly changing time needs to be stopped and packaged into bo(nded (nits: events and event se.(ences5 and this is done by (se of partic(lar verb/type predicates in con3(nction 2ith the kinds of temporal marking that partic(lar lang(ages have at their disposal) !tringing these events together forms the backbone or skeleton of a story *8abov# %9@+,) "henever speakers step o(t of the se.(ence of stringing events into their story# they (s(ally p(rs(e other b(siness *e)g)# s(mmari=ing or eval(ating 2hat happened, by 2ay of adopting a more overall or eval(ative perspective) >o2ever# temporality is only one among several options to make a story cohesive) 1ther means are the (se of spatial markers and the marking of character contin(ity) -aken together# narrators make (se of ling(istic devices to move characters thro(gh the spatial and temporal contig(ity of 2hat happened and in doing so build characters and position them in relationships 2ith one another) 4n ?nglish for e0ample *as in most 4ndo/?(ropean lang(ages,# there are intricate options to employ shifts from proper names *Jennie, to nominal forms *this girl, to prono(ns *she, to simply not mentioning the referent *=ero/prono(n,) $ narrator employs these shifts skillf(lly# in con3(nction 2ith temporal and spatial devices# to b(ild small thematic (nits# those that resemble paragraphs or episodes# 2hen it comes to se.(encing of other2ise random cla(ses into larger (nits that (ltimately s(rmo(nt to the narrative and 2hat it is abo(t) ;ote that this 2ay of approaching narratives starts from the cla(se and its le0ical/ syntactic make/(p as the basic analytic (nit and ass(mes that tying cla(ses cohesively together


follo2s the lang(age/specific practices and norms of cohesion/b(ilding) 4n follo2ing these proced(res# a f(ller# episodic str(ct(re emerges//one that resembles and is typical for stories) !tories# according to this vie2# come into e0istence by (se of le0ical and syntactic devices that speakers p(t to (se as indices for story/formations) -he devices contin(o(sly signal *conte0t(ali=e, 2here the narrator is in the constr(ction of the overarching (nit) -h(s# based on the smallest (nit of analysis# the cla(se# the ling(istic devices employed mark# and as s(ch are interpreted as# 2hat the speaker assembles as a given narrative to be about) ;ote also that this approach can be stretched into the semantic organi=ation of cohesion b(ilding: !hifts bet2een le0ical devices that seemingly refer to the same character also can be significant) Feferring to a female character by (se of gendered terms# s(ch as 9great body: or 9sl(t#: positions her in membership categories that obvio(sly mark different positions vis/I/vis this female character b(t also locate a different sense of self of the speaker vis/I/vis the a(dience *Bamberg# + Texts as cognitive structure: plots! themes and coherence $ltho(gh it is possible# as 8abov *%9@+, s(ggested# to describe the (nits that emerge in the co(rse of narrative cohesion/b(ilding in terms of elements that (ltimately res(lt in some str(ct(ral 2hole# the emergent 2hole is more than its ling(istic components) 4n other 2ords# the emerging (nits are as m(ch prod(cts or o(tcomes of bottom/(p constr(ction processes as they are reflections of an overall str(ct(re that organi=es its components from the top to the bottom) -ypically# this top/do2n kind of process is conceived of in terms of concept(al (nits that have their origins in *(niversally, shared story grammars) -hese kinds of concept(al (nits have fo(nd s(pport in cognitive research on story comprehension and story retellings *cf) Mandler G Hohnson# %9@@5 -horndyke# %9@@,) -he arg(ment is that these (nits are more concept(al and less ling(istic in nat(re) -hey are (nits that speakers and story comprehenders bring to the telling C,)


sit(ation as templates to embed or make fit the story partic(lars) -hese (nits typically consist of an *optional, abstract# follo2ed by an orientation *or setting or exposition,# follo2ed by the complication *also called problem or crisis,# maybe an action or action orientation to2ard a resol(tion# res(lting in the resolution *or occasionally failure,# 2hich then is (ltimately follo2ed by a coda *or closure,) -he orientation takes the listener into the there/and/then 2here actions take place# and the coda is taking the a(dience back into the here/and/no2 of the telling sit(ation) -he characters in the story are the e0ponents of intentionality *and emotions, and it is their action orientation//based on the interiority of their minds and emotions//that leads (p to 2hat action *or non/action, (nfolds) >o2ever# not (nlike actions and action orientations in the epic# individ(al actions in story grammar approaches are held together and called o(t by larger motivational scripts that resemble plots# if not aspects of the 9h(man drama): -ake for instance a story that is played o(t in a ma3or >olly2ood movie that involves a barfing incident# that happened in a pie/eating contest# 2hich act(ally fig(res as an intentional part 2ithin a revenge plot * tand by !e,: $ltho(gh the characters in each of these different plot config(rations engage in the same kind of activities//they all barf# 2hile competing in *and 2atching, the contest# and act *(nkno2ingly, 2ithin the revenge scheme of the protagonist//they offer different options for identifications for teller and a(dience *cf) Bamberg# + E,)

-h(s# in spite of story characters conceived of as intentional agents# the cognitive orientation vis/I/vis narrative research integrates the se.(ence of events *as intended or not/ intended, into more or less coherent config(rations that contain a p(rpose) >o2ever# p(rpose here# in a top/do2n fashion# gains its meaning from the narrative 2hole) -he 2hole lends meaning to the components of the story and their se.(ential arrangement) $nd the 2ay the


components are arranged is to be vie2ed as a f(nction of the 2hole) Conse.(ently# the analysis 2ithin this analytic frame proceeds from the 2hole to its parts) -he general theme of a narrative is established thro(gh the e0amination of this part/2hole relationship typically thro(gh m(ltiple readings of the narrative# often as part of a team e0ercise) -hro(gh this process the components of a narrative can be divided and (ndergo their individ(al analytic scr(tiny in addition to relating them to a larger 2hole) 4t is essential to note that both the ling(istic/cohesive and cognitive/coherence approaches described above foc(s on monologic te0ts) $ltho(gh for both approaches# striving for stronger cohesive ties and better coherence are in the service of easier and better comprehension# the p(rpose of the story according to these approaches is to encode information# and the 2ay the information is str(ct(red is relevant for the effect of the story on the a(dience) -he ling(istic and concept(al str(ct(res of the story are f(nctions in the service of the theme# the overall plot# and the content) 4t is as if the content and its organi=ation are central to the narrator:s concern# and he or she follo2s the ling(istic and cognitive conventions that are appropriate to encode this content) Conse.(ently# any research interest that is primarily concerned 2ith content and thematic str(ct(ring# 2ill gravitate to2ard these methods) "eyond the text: hy this story here-and-no ? 4n contrast to the previo(s t2o more monologic and te0t(ally oriented approaches# an interactive/performative orientation 2orks 2ith narratives as sit(ated in dialog(e *2e 2ill (se the term interaction//cf) ten >ave# this vol(me5 Potter# this vol(me, and performed//not only 2ith ling(istic means b(t in addition 2ith other bodily means)% -he foc(s here is on storytelling as

-he implication that lang(age is another bodily means of e0pression and comm(nication is p(rposely (sed in this conte0t) 1ne of the reasons is to take lang(age o(t of the *p(rely, cognitive realm and place it in the realm of interactive activities in 2hich 2e make sense and display a sense of self) $nalytically# 2e place lang(age at the same level as other bodily means) *%

activity# incl(ding 2hat has been going on before the speaker enters the floor# and 2hat happens thereafter *e)g)# the story:s (p/take,) -h(s# 2e see a clear shift in terms of 2hat enters into the foc(s of analy=ing s(ch narratives: ?0amining stories in terms of their cohesive and coherence *thematic, components and analy=ing the means that are taken to be the b(ilding blocks simply is not s(fficient) !(ch stories# irrespective 2hether they are 9small: and short or 2hether they constit(te a lengthy t(rn in the form of a f(ll/blo2n life story# have antecedents and conse.(ences in sit(ations in 2hich they emerge) -hese sit(ations are taken to be part of narrative practices that heavily impact ho2 a story is told# and 2hat their thematic and str(ct(ral make/(p t(rns o(t to be) -his# ho2ever# does not imply that an interactive/performative approach to narrative analysis is oblivio(s to content and str(ct(re) $ccording to this third performance type approach# ling(istic and cognitive str(ct(ring is part of 2hat speakers accomplish 2ith their narratives) B(t 2hat speakers do 2ith their stories may serve m(ltiple p(rposes//and most of them often cannot be read directly off of the stories: str(ct(re or content necessitating appeals to larger conte0t(al iss(es and their analysis) "hat narrators accomplish 2ith their stories is first of all highly local b(siness) -hey may claim to explain# b(t sim(ltaneo(sly engage in acts of apologi=ing# gaining their a(dience:s empathy# or attempting to re/gain their tr(st in order to be reelected *see the analysis of former U! !enator Hohn ?d2ard:s confession to having had an e0tramarital affair and repeatedly lying abo(t it//Bamberg# + % a,) $ccording to an interactive/performative approach to narrative# altho(gh narrators often may appeal to their core identity# 2ho speakers really are is most often not 2hat a close analysis of their stories reveals) -h(s# the analysis of narratives/in/interaction is limiting its foc(s to assist in ans2ering t2o .(estions: "hy this story here/and/no2K and more concretely# "hat is being accomplished 2ith this storyK


-he interactive/performative approach to narrative has not gone 2itho(t criti.(e) <or one# it has been noted that an approach that vie2s s(ch narratives as concrete activities in local interactions places limits on 2hat can be generali=ed) $ second# and as s(ch potentially f(rther limiting aspect of this approach to narratives and narrative analysis# is its foc(s on other than te0t(al components of storytelling) 4n.(iry for instance into narrators: (se of intonation and ga=e to navigate their activity on the floor# and ho2 this is in the service of the act(al story performed# are .(estions that are only possible to follo2 (p by close and time/cons(ming analytic proced(res) ;evertheless# an analytic stance that dismisses this type of approach as only local and irrelevant 2ith respect to the larger .(estions *s(ch as identity iss(es behind the stories told, may in fact do so premat(rely and as s(ch confer interpretations that are diffic(lt to follo2 and may not hold if more detailed scr(tiny 2as considered) $t this point# the iss(e is not one of 2hich approach is 6best7 or correct) 4n laying o(t these approaches the perspective presented is that each comes from a distinct tradition# foc(ses on different forms of narrating and (s(ally p(rs(es different types of research .(estions) Part ##: The $ennie %tory 4n order to e0emplify the aforementioned methodological proced(res# a small story 2as chosen that allo2s for demonstrating the m(lti/layers of narrative analysis) -he story emerged in a gro(p disc(ssion bet2een fo(r ten/year/old boys *Billie# Martin# Lictor and "ally, and an ad(lt male moderator) -he boys are in the same grade of an inner/city elementary school# spread across different classrooms) -hey kno2 each other b(t do not consider each other to be friends) -he story itself is short b(t comple0) 4t is embedded in Lictor:s t(rn *belo2, b(t does not have a clear beginning# and# as 2e 2ill see# it does not have a clear ending either) 4ts plot and theme also are ambig(o(s# and 2hy this story may have been shared also# at least initially# is (nclear) -he


story nevertheless is 2hat 2e 2o(ld consider a typical story that emerged in relatively m(ndane m(lti/party talk//here abo(t girls//and presents itself as a perfect gro(nd to demonstrate ho2 narrative analysis proceeds in the attempt to make transparent ho2 narrators operate in their narrative practices) -he st(dy itself started as an e0ploratory pro3ect 2ith the aim to follo2 (p t2enty % / year/old boys in their interactions in and o(tside school for a period of five years) -hey 2ere a(dio/ and videotaped at different occasions engaged in talk so that 2e as researchers co(ld 9participate: in their narrative practices) -he overall frame of the research pro3ect fits Potter:s characteri=ation of attempts to 2ork (p the narrative repertoires of % /%C/yer/old males *altho(gh 2e analy=e them as positioning strategies# Bamberg + E# + C, and their se.(ential

and conversational occasionings *Potter# this vol(me,) -he partic(lar topic chosen for the p(rpose of ill(stration in this chapter comes from a larger stretch of talk on the topic of girls) $ltho(gh the original intent 2as to simply develop a large archive of records of interaction in 2hich 2e then co(ld identify storied acco(nts# 2e specified o(r research .(estions in the early process of collecting records of their interactive practices# and one of o(r .(estions became form(lated as the representation of self and other aro(nd iss(es of gender and se0(ality) 4n the e0ample chosen here# the original g(iding .(estion 2as ho2 the male ten/year/old *Lictor, positions a sense of self vis/I/vis a partic(lar girl named Hennie)+ "e 2ill start analy=ing the story o(t of conte0t and# in a second step# e0pand the transcript to incl(de previo(s and s(bse.(ent thematic information as 2ell as e0tra/te0t(al modalities that assist to disambig(ate the story told) -he first transcript follo2s a division into cla(ses that 2ill help make transparent

Jennie, as all other names of participants in this chapter, is a pseudon,m. -he stud, .as approved /, the I01, and consent .as given /, the participants and their guardians that granted us permission to use e2cerpts from their interactions for educational purposes. *(

the cohesive linkages bet2een le0ical choices and cla(se/linkages# and ho2 they contrib(te to the thematic b(ild/(p of the (nderlying plot) -(rning to the .(estion of transcribing narrative data# it sho(ld be kept in mind that transcripts attempt to manage three general and comple0 tasks: *i, rendering reality# *ii, transforming *as in act(ally changing, reality# and *iii, picking o(t and comm(nicating 2hat is considered relevant abo(t that reality to the reader and to the interpretive task at hand) Placing the task of transcription at this intersection re.(ires managing the claims of realism to represent faithf(lly 2hat is happening in an ob3ective reality 2ith the re.(irement of transforming 2hat is ass(med as happening into lines on paper by (se of conventions that not only red(ce b(t also enrich the comple0ity of reality and make visible 2hat is considered relevant) -his transformation is by necessity one that sim(ltaneo(sly veils and (nveils# makes the strange familiar and the familiar strange) 4t is comparable to the task of describing 2hat happens in slo2 motion or in fast/for2ard modalities of 2atching actions and events emerge) -ranscribing f(rther re.(ires decisions regarding 2hat is being picked from the (niverse of observables and made comm(nicable) -herefore# there is no right or 2rong transcription) $nd transcription systems# definitive and principled or not# al2ays are prescriptions of interpretive proced(res) -he follo2ing transcript represents 2hat is transmitted verbally in a cla(se/by/cla(se format) Cla(ses are (nits that incl(de a predicate and its satellites *s(b3ect# ob3ect# etc), and capt(re the syntactic and le0ical make (p of these cla(ses) Displaying each cla(se as a separate line orients the analytic eye to the lang(age specific 2ord order//s(ch as in ?nglish s(b3ect/verb/ ob3ect# Berman s(b3ect/ob3ect/verb# or Maori verb/s(b3ect/ob3ect//so that parallel constr(ctions or syntactic shifts come to the fore) -ranscripts that highlight the syntactic constr(ctedness and linkages bet2een cla(ses help to make transparent ho2 characters are introd(ced and follo2ed


(p# and ho2 the se.(ential arrangements of spatial locations and temporal connections are constr(cted//in short# they lay open ho2 characters are given shape in space and time) $ transcript of this sort is still relatively reader/friendly# in contrast for instance to transcripts that (se the international phonetic alphabet or incorporate an overload of symbols that readers first have to learn in order to follo2) ;ot all prosodic information *stress and intonation, is capt(red in the transcript) >o2ever# at occasions in 2hich the accent or voice .(ality is accent(ated# this is inde0ed as conte0t(al information MMhigh pitchNN) $rro2s are (sed to inde0 rising or falling intonation# C$P4-$8! for special stress on syllables or 2ords# and short breaks are inde0ed by dots *),) *9%, *9+, *9E, *9C, *95, *9&, *9@, *9A, *99, *% , Hennie (sed to call me her little honey for some !-F$;B? F?$!1; 2e (sed to go to preschool together *), right and there 2as that big mat like it 2as a big pillo2 in the little in the reading area and 4 (sed to like to get there 2icked early ca(se my Dad (sed to 2ork for the city *), right and 4 (sed to hide in that pillo2 so Hennie co(ldnOt find me *), right and she (sed to r(n (p there and she (sed to po(nce on the ball she said L4C-1F 4OM B1;;$ <4;D P1U MMin high pitchNN

*% %, *% +, *% E, *% C,

and then 4 3(st sit there going o(ghhhh MMd(cking do2n Q shaking handsNN


"hen taking a first stab at a transcript like this# 4:d like to s(ggest to take a n(mber of highlighters and start by marking the different actors by (se of different colors from start to end *incl(ding so/called =ero/prono(ns,) 4n a second step# the predicates 2ill be marked for their temporal se.(ence//those that move the action for2ard in a different color from those that encode stative information5 follo2ed by marking locations that are being referred to//again 2ith an eye on changes and movements) -his first level of analysis seems to approach the transcript e0cessively detailed# partic(larly for those 2ho are in good native command of *?nglish, literary *narrative, conventions) >o2ever# imagine someone 2ho speaks Maori as her first lang(age *or Chinese# a lang(age that has no tense marking, and th(s is familiar 2ith very different narrative conventions to 2eave characters into their spatial and temporal relationships) 4n addition# this level of transparency f(rther enables (s to make initial ass(mptions as to 2here the story begins and 2hat it consists of in terms of delineating main *Jennie and "ictor, from secondary characters *father,# and probably even tackle the .(estion ho2 the t2o main characters *Jenny and "ictor, are positioned vis/I/vis one another) 4n the follo2ing 4 2ill lay o(t this first stab and take the reader thro(gh this kind of *dry, e0ercise)E Words and sentences--and their lin&age into topical cohesiveness' -he e0ample o(tlined above begins 2ith a person/reference in t(rn/ and sentence/initial position *line 9%, in the form of a name: Jennie) -hree other referents in s(b3ect position follo2: we *line 9E,# I *lines 9@ and 99 and again in line % C,# and my #ad *line 9A,) Hennie is reintrod(ced in s(b3ect position in lines *% ob3ect position *me, in lines *%

/E, and reference to the speaking self reappears in

, and *% E,) -he cohesive flo2 of the participating characters in

"lease note that I am not suggesting that these anal,tic procedures have to /e laid out in this 3ind of detail .hen pu/lished. Ho.ever, if a decision is necessar, .ith regard to .hat the narrative consists of, as in the case of the transcript under investigation, the anal,st has to /e a/le to dra. on this anal,tic procedure. #*

this segment is inde0ed by the shifts bet2een proper names and prono(ns: from Jennie to us *me and Hennie,# 2ith my #ad briefly intersecting# then ret(rning to Jenny as the main character# ending 2ith the speaker referring to himself in s(b3ect position *2ho previo(sly 2as positioned in ob3ect position# s(b3ected to Hennie:s actions,) 4n terms of the temporal flo2# all actions and events are clearly marked as having taken place in the past//e0cept for Lic:s action in line *% C,# 2hich is stated in the present tense) >o2ever# most actions are marked as having habit(ally occ(rred *used to,# not clearly establishing event bo(ndaries to the left and right of each sing(lar event# as for e0ample in 6one day I hid in the pillow# she ran up# pounced on the ball# and saidR7//in 2hich case 2e 2o(ld have three clear temporal bo(ndaries bet2een fo(r events so that they 2o(ld be read as in se.(ence) ;evertheless# there is an implied temporal and contig(o(s se.(ence of habit(al occ(rrences of actions that resemble a hide/and/seek scheme# 2here the hiding action has to be completed# so that running up to the location and the pouncing can follo2 and establish 2hat can be considered the overall activity frame of hide/and/seek) 4n terms of the spatial lay/o(t# the first orientation to space is implied in line *9E, by mentioning their preschool) 8ines *9C/&, remain 2ithin this location and add descriptive detail) "ith lines *9@/A, the speaker remains at the same location *there,# adding a temporal marking *wicked early,# b(t from a different perspective) "hile the description of the school/room:s interior seemed to have come from 2ithin this room *both speaker and a(dience are vis(ali=ing it from 2ithin,# the mentioning that it 2as wicked early came from a perspective o(tside# setting (p an earlier temporal reference frame: >e had been dropped off by his father# 2ith reasons added as to 2hy this 2as the case *line 9A,) "ith line *99,# the speaker ret(rns to the focali=ation point inside the room# hides behind the pillo2# and remains there (ntil the end of the story *% C,)


?ach of the three mentioned characters are positioned in t2o relational set/(ps: the father as the agent dropping off his son *2ho in t(rn is positioned in ob3ect position as (ndergoer,) -he relational positions bet2een Hennie and Lictor are spelled o(t similarly: Hennie is positioned as agent *line 9%, and reappears in this position in lines *% /C,) 4ntermittently there is the I that got

*not went, to preschool early *not thro(gh his agency, and the I that 2ent into hiding *line 99,) >iding itself is an agentive move# tho(gh re.(iring another agent 2ith respect to 2hom going into hiding is a reaction) 4t also implies the intention not 2anting to be seen or fo(nd//res(lting in line *% C, in a self/positioning as p(t# not moving# 2ith the (nspoken agenda to remain in a non/ agentive position for the rest of this narrative) 8et (s reflect briefly on the analytic proced(re th(s far) "hat 2e have tried to accomplish is to trace the 2ay cohesive ties# are p(t to (se so the characters co(ld be identified and vie2ed as relating to one/another# in line 2ith the temporal and spatial arrangements in 2hich the characters are sit(ated) Femaining 2ithin the analytic layer of 2ords and sentences and foc(sing on the emergence of cohesion# it can be noted that the narrator positions himself as (ndergoer# if not victim# of the actions of others) -he presentation of these actions# as having taken place abo(t five years ago# as having happened repeatedly# and as not (nder his control# can be read as designed to do2nplay his agency and esche2 acco(ntability) -his m(ch 2e can assert from a bottom/(p scr(tiny of ho2 cla(ses are presented as follo2ing each other and from ho2 the cohesive ties bet2een them are set (p) $nd altho(gh there seems to be some overarching temporal se.(ence# the act(al narrative skeleton# e0isting of a se.(ence of event cla(ses# is very thin) -he description of the preschool:s interior *lines 9C/&, as 2ell as the aside abo(t his father dropping him off early on his 2ay to 2ork *lines 9@/A, do not contrib(te to any plot development# and neither do the first t2o opening lines *9%/+,)


!(mmari=ing the e0amination of spatial# temporal and character references and tying them together# the local orientation# and by implication also a temporal setting# come to the fore in line *9E,# marking the start of a story) <rom here an action orientation# and 2ith it a partic(lar character constellation# can (nfold and move for2ard *lines % %/E,# res(lting in an o(tcome *line % C,) -he first t2o lines *9%/+, are marked off as a different incident# tho(gh one that may thematically be related to the story that starts in preschool) $ccording to 8abov:s definition# cited above# the first t2o lines do not establish a narrative# beca(se 2ith line *9+,# by (se of a free cla(se# the speaker removes himself from the event formation) -h(s# having established line *9E, as the orientation *2ith lines 9C/& as f(rther detailing the setting,# and lines *99/% , as the

establishment of an action frame for this setting# lines *% %/E, can then be taken as a possible complication# tho(gh not res(lting in a resol(tion *line % C,) 4n case 2e didn:t kno2 that 2e 2ere in a here/and/no2 five years later# one co(ld ass(me that Lictor may have stayed in hiding# or# symbolically speaking# may be interpreted as 9still in hiding):C -he choice of partic(lar form(lations 2ill become more relevant 2hen analy=ed belo2 in terms of their interactive f(nctions) >o2ever# at this point# it is note2orthy that the narrative starts 2ith an attrib(tion that originated from the person 2ho 2ill s(bse.(ently be developed into the main character *at least in terms of her agency, of the story) -he specific form(lation that is attrib(ted to him *honey,# f(rther elaborated by a dimin(tive *little$# and claimed to be o2ned *my,//my little honey//dra2s on a semantic field that is typically connoted to lovers: talk or parental *most likely mother/child, terms of endearment) -he fact that Lictor claims that this form(lation 2as a habit(al attrib(tion by Hennie# and that Hennie:s p(rs(its also happened

-he 4uestion that is looming alread, at this level of anal,sis is What is the point of telling this stor,5 What is it that telling this stor, contri/utes and ma3es relevant for the situation spea3er and audience are currentl, in5 Is it (more) a/out 6ennie5 (7ore) a/out me5 8r is it a/out our relationship5 1ac3 then5 Here-and-no.5 #$

habit(ally# point to the interpretation that he neither vie2s these categori=ations as accidental nor motivated by anything he did to enco(rage her) -o the contrary# Hennie:s actions are marked off# not only as repetitive and therefore e0treme# b(t also as (nreasonable//clearly (nderscored in his eval(ative stance e0pressed in line *9+,) -he aside in lines *9@/A, that establishes the events as taking place in the morning before school 2as in session *2ith little s(pervision present, also may add to his overall eval(ative stance of not agentively involved# not protected by the 9normal: frame of ad(lt s(pervision# 2ith his father gone# and s(b3ected to the mercy of a female protagonist 2ho is his age) Plots and themes--to ard the production of story coherence' >aving started 2orking thro(gh the narrative 2ith a foc(s on the se.(ence of cla(ses and their le0ical and syntactic make/(p# 2e 2ere able to sort thro(gh some of the eventive *the temporal se.(ence of 2hat happened, and eval(ative *2here Lictor gave insight into his eval(ative stance vis/I/vis 2hat happened, components of the story) !eparating the events that reportedly happened from eval(ative stances left (s 2ith the .(estion: "hat f(nctions do the partic(lar le0ical and syntactic choices of the speaker serve//in service of the larger .(estion 2hat this story means) "e no2 t(rn to analy=e the segment of disco(rse from the perspective of the second layer that p(rs(es the .(estion of story coherence# linking the plot 2ith its contents) 4n terms of its overall str(ct(re# the first t2o lines *9%/+, need to be dealt 2ith separately) -he story starts 2ith an orientation into the there/and/then 2ith line *9E,) -opically# the story foc(ses on Hennie//2ith the narrator positioned in recipient role//and its theme is her *habit(al, p(rs(it of him) -his theme is not marked as a typical hide/and/seek game/like activity in the life/ space of five/year/olds# b(t as an activity that did not res(lt *at the time, in play and f(n for the sake of play) Moving from this overall interpretation of lines *9E/% C, back to the first t2o lines#


the thematic link becomes more transparent: -he t2o str(ct(ral segments speak to the *same, iss(e of Hennie:s habit(al actions# and both are strongly characteri=ed from the same eval(ative orientation) 4n the first segment *lines 9%/+,# the eval(ation of Hennie:s actions *for some strange reason, is marked off by stepping o(t of the there/and/then and giving his eval(ative position from the here/and/no2 of speaking time) 4n the second segment *lines 9E/9,# the speaker:s eval(ative position is more implicit and signaled by (se of le0ical and grammatical choices that characteri=e him not only as (ninvolved b(t also as not approving of the position into 2hich he is placed by Hennie) -o s(pport this interpretation# 2e may take additional *performative, means into acco(nt# s(ch as (sing his 6telling body7 *both e0pressing his emotion MoughhhN and his bodily display of post(re and hands,: Both can be taken to inde0 2hat it m(st have looked and felt like hiding behind the pillo2) 4n this last line of his story *% C,# in 2hich he highlights his affect# he also s2itches from the (se of past tense to the present tense *sit,) -his can f(rther be taken to inde0 the relevancy of this part of his story//not necessarily the high point# b(t something that has end(ring relevance) $t this point# it may be relevant to keep in mind that Hennie is a girl//2hile Lictor is positioned as a boy) 4n ?nglish# this distinction most commonly is implied by names c(lt(rally typifying boys and girls# and# of co(rse# by the marking of personal prono(ns *he vs) she,) ;ote# ho2ever# that Henny simply co(ld have been referred to as a friend *or my friend,# leaving her gender less accent(ated) <oc(sing on this categorical distinction# the .(estion can be asked 2hether this story is at its core about girl/boy relationships *i)e)# heterose0(ality,) $t the same time# this story is abo(t something that happened in preschool: a long time ago 2hich can be interpreted in t2o 2ays: *i, as still c(rrently relevant# or *ii, as something that happened in the remote past# 2ith no or only little relevance to the state of affairs in the present) 4n the first


instance# picking (p on the theme of heterose0(ality# Hennie:s thematic role 2as to make the point that the narrator vie2s himself as still having to go into hiding: ;o2adays# tho(gh t2ice their age# Hennie# or other girls# position him *as a male, in the same plot/like config(ration) 4n this second case# 2e are dealing 2ith an acco(nt that characteri=es the actions of a female child in the distant past# and ho2 these actions back then have impacted on a male child) -ho(gh if this is not being made e0plicit# 2hy then tell the storyK >aving cond(cted a thematic analysis of the (nderlying plot config(ration of Lictor:s story# 2e are ending (p 2ith at least t2o options for 2hat kind of plot is in circ(lation) $ccording to a first option# Lictor co(ld be heard as config(ring the partic(lars of 2hat happened as part of a general conflict bet2een males and females) Being called 9my little honey: and in addition being physically p(rs(ed are e0amples of intr(sion and therefore (n2anted actions of females into 2hat is being constr(cted symbolically as male space) 4n this type of plot config(ration# the reasons for these kinds of actions are inscr(table and enigmatic# and th(s potentially res(lting in conflict) "hatever Lictor:s motives may have been to borro2 this kind of plot//maybe Lictor is heard as a yo(ng boy for 2hom girls 6still have cooties7# maybe he is heard as speaking from the position of 6male angst7 vis/I/vis 2omen in general# or maybe Hennie:s attempts *c(m(latively# or one of her approaches in partic(lar, have left Lictor tra(matically scarred5 the 2ay the characters are positioned in the there/and/then may invite these kinds of interpretation)5 4n a second option# another interpretation s(ggests that Hennie is config(red as a member of the category of females 2ho p(rs(e males as part of a romantic or heterose0(al plot config(ration) "ithin this interpretive scenario# Lictor presents himself back there/and/then as declining# b(t borro2ing this kind of stance to be relevant and potentially still

-hese three interpretive conclusions .ere suggested /, colleagues and students after .atching and having .or3ed through the first t.o anal,tic la,ers, (i) the .ords and sentences, and (ii) the themes and plots. #'

holding in the here/and/no2) "ithin this plot config(ration he co(ld be read as borro2ing the persona of someone 2ho is pop(lar b(t (ninvolved//the mainstay of male cool) $nd maybe it is this feat(re in the 2ay he constr(cts his relationship to the other gender that is foregro(nded and made relevant for the here/and/no2 of the telling sit(ation) $t this point# the analysis of the layer of story coherence does not resolve 2hether either of these t2o thematic config(ration attempts is appropriate) #nteraction and performance-- hy this story here-and-no ? >aving started 2ith a close look at the act(al 2ording and their composition into a linear and cohesive te0t that 2as feeding into a common topical theme# follo2ed by an analysis of the overarching thematic organi=ation of the plot of the story# 2e 2ill no2 e0pand o(r analytic foc(s to incorporate the third layer o(tlined above) >ere the e0cerpt is e0amined in terms of the .(estion 2hat the story is abo(t to the participants in their ongoing negotiation of 2hat is topically and interactionally relevant) 4t is 2ith this layer that 2e are opening the analysis to more conte0t(al information s(ch as ho2 the participants are trying to signal 2hat they consider relevant# and ho2 this is being negotiated) $s noted earlier# the goal is to contin(e to disambig(ate 2hat thematically is being negotiated and to make the c(es that are (sed by the participants transparent to the analytic eye) >ere 2e not only go beyond the *original, te0t by considering previo(s and s(bse.(ent te0t(al elements# b(t in addition 2e 2ill dra2 on other bodily c(es s(ch as ga=e# gest(res and post(re) 1ne of those c(es 2e had spotted earlier in the analysis 2as Lictor:s abr(pt introd(ction of Hennie by (se of her name in line *9%,) !tarting a t(rn# narrative or not# by (se of a referential form that is highly specific inde0es a conte0t in 2hich the referred to character is taken as pres(pposed5 in other 2ords# this form pointed participants to2ard previo(s mentionings of


Hennie as thematically relevant) 1ther c(es are to be (ncovered in ho2 Lictor has taken (p on 2hat has been said immediately before and ho2 others are taking (p on his story after his t(rn completion) !tarting from the t2o kinds of plot config(rations revealed in the analysis in the first t2o layers in Lictor:s overall str(ct(ring# 2e can see that both plot config(rations correlate 2ith t2o different types of speech activities at the interactive/performative layer: "hile the config(ration in 2hich females make (ne0plainable and (n2anted moves vis/I/vis males lends itself for the speech activity of complaining# the plot in 2hich female approaches contrib(te to a gain in social stat(s and pop(larity# and conse.(ently are likely to fall into the 92anted category#: can translate into speech acts of boasting or fla(nting a male *heterose0(al, identity) !tarting from a slightly e0panded transcript *belo2,#& 2e can see that Lictor *line 9%, c(ts into Billie:s t(rn *line 9A,) >o2ever# at the e0act moment 2hen Lictor:s and Billie:s t(rn begin to overlap# Billie:s complaint story is not f(lly developed) 4nstead# at that point Billie 3(st had claimed to have had a girlfriend# and that this girlfriend seemed to have been very e0perienced 2ith boys) <rom the vis(al c(es available *partic(larly his ga=e orientation,# Lictor does not hear Billie o(t and his t(rn seems to deliberately interr(pt) 4n light of these observations# it remains (nclear 2hether Lictor is telling his story abo(t Hennie as boasting abo(t girlfriends5 or 2hether Lictor is contrib(ting to a theme that lends itself more for a complaint# namely that girls intr(de male territory) <(rthermore# in order to better (nderstand 2hy Hennie 2as made relevant in response to Billie:s conversational contrib(tion# 2e are forced to look f(rther for earlier mentions of Hennie in the conversation and 2ill ret(rn to this shortly) MMeveryone sittingNN MMga=e distrib(ted aro(ndNN

-he conte2tual information on the right-hand side of the transcript is shaded so it can /e distinguished from the te2tual information. In addition, s4uare /rac3ets 9 are used to mar3 the /eginnings of overlapping speech. #)

*9&, *9@, *9A, *9 ,



my e0/girlfriend had like t2elve e0/e0/e0/e0 boyfriends she had t2elve of them and she takes the Sgood st(ff and she breaks (p

MMall ga=e at BillieNN

MMLi ga=es at moderatorNN MMLi contin(es ga=e at modNN


SHennie (sed to call me her little honey for some !-F$;B? F?$!1; 2e (sed to go to preschool together *), right and there 2as that big mat


like it 2as a big pillo2 in the little in the reading area and 4 (sed to like to get there 2icked early ca(se my Dad (sed to 2ork for the city *), right and 4 (sed to hide in that pillo2

MMgest(res o(tlining pillo2NN MMeveryone t(ned to Lic Q post(re T ga=eNN

MMparticipants ga=e at LictorNN


so Hennie co(ldnOt find me *), right and she (sed to r(n (p there and she (sed to po(nce on the ball she said L4C-1F 4OM B1;;$ <4;D P1U MMhigh pitchNN MMeveryone smilingNN

*% C,

and then 4 3(st sit there going o(ghhhh

MMd(cking do2n Q shaking handsNN

Mpa(se T little la(ghterN MMga=e T body post(res reorientingNN *% 5, *% &, %il "ic %il *%% , &al %il !ar she 2as tall 2hen she 2as in preschool she 2as like S Sshe is short no2 no she is h(ge *), Hennie -hompson yes to P1U she is taller she is shorter than Sme SsheOs shorter than me Sshorter than me 3+ MMLic standing (pNN MMgest(ring smallNN MMLic gest(ring tallNN


no she isnOt Billie she is taller than yo(

*%%5, %il "ic

neh 4 kno2 4 kno2 one girl 2ho is taller than $88 of yo( MMtopic changeNN

Lictor:s story *ending in line % C, is taken (p in the form of la(ghter con3oined 2ith everyone moving their bodies back to a more rela0ed position and a reorientation of ga=e from Lictor to other orientation points in the room) -hese bodily reactions typically signal the recognition of the end of the story and open the floor for someone else to follo2 (p//often 2ith an eval(ation or a second/story) -his# ho2ever# does not happen) Lictor reenters the floor 2ith a brief descriptive claim regarding Hennie:s si=e 2hen she 2as in preschool) -his claim# altho(gh topically cohesive# is post/narrative) "ith line *% C,# he had marked his t(rn *and th(s his story, as completed) !o the .(estion is 2hat his contin(ance is s(pposed to accomplish) -he s(bse.(ent arg(ment among the participants abo(t Hennie:s no2adays si=e reconfirms that everyone kno2s Hennie# b(t doesn:t necessarily ans2er .(estions raised by Lictor:s story abo(t Hennie) $nother 2ay of providing thematic contin(ity bet2een the topic of Lictor:s story and his post/narrative claims to Hennie:s si=e can be provided by moving o(t of the te0t(al representation and into Lictor:s bodily self/representation: going into hiding and d(cking do2n# i)e)# making himself p(rposely small and invisible) "hen playing hide/and/seek# this may be an appropriate move# tho(gh 2hen boasting abo(t being approached or p(rs(ed by a girl# this may be constr(ed as a form of an0iety or (n/readiness for the challenge of *mat(re, se0(ality) 4f this thematic strand is 2oven# or emerging at one or another point in the interaction# Lictor:s post/narrative comment on Hennie:s si=e is most likely to be heard as an inoc(lation attempt against this kind of interactive positioning by the present participants) !tanding (p from his chair 2hen challenged


on his si=e and making himself oversee the other participants *see transcript# line % A, is likely to be read in s(pport 2ith this interpretation) Feeval(ating 2here 2e are in o(r attempt to disambig(ate the thematic relevance of Lictor:s story from a conte0t(al/interactive vantage point# and entering the conte0t(ali=ation of his story from an analytic angle that is gro(nded in the conversational/interactive fabric of relational 2ork bet2een the participants# opens (p ne2 .(estions originating from the e0pansion of the te0t and its interactional embedding as the ne2 (nit of analysis: "here and ho2 2as Hennie originally made topically relevantK >o2 did this topic progress from there on and ho2 is Hennie positioned in this topical progressionK "hat is interactively accomplished bet2een the participants of the conversationK U(estions like these# and maybe others# all are central to the analytic layer of the performance approach (nder investigation here# tho(gh there is not eno(gh space to lay this o(t in detail) !o let me describe ho2 the story emerged at this point in the conversation among the participants) ?arlier# in a disc(ssion of ho2 long one has to kno2 someone in order to co(nt as best friend# Lictor had mentioned Hennie 2hom he had kno2n from 2hen he 2as born) 8ater on# this statement 2as recalled# and Lictor claimed her as a best friend) Challenged by "ally 2ho ob3ected: you can't trust girls# a ne2 topic emerged namely 2hether yo( can tr(st Moms and sisters) $t this point# Lictor sided clearly 2ith those 2ho tr(st) 1ver the ne0t t(rns# initiated by a *small, story from Billie on the topic of his Mom sho2ing al2ays his baby pict(res# a n(mber of more stories 2ere called (p by all participants# incl(ding the moderator# 2hich all shared e0periences in 2hich mothers embarrassed their children by taking and sho2ing their pict(res) Dads 2ere e0plicitly e0cl(ded from and positioned as strictly opposing if not (ndermining s(ch practices) "ally s(mmed (p the disc(ssion 2ith the 2ords: you can't trust your girlfriend either


(cause they tell their friends//2ith Lictor agreeing: yeah) you're right it's nuts//thereby overtly calling into .(estion his earlier claim that he tr(sted his Mom and sister) 4t is at this point that Billie 3oined the conversation 2ith his story abo(t his e0/girlfriend 2ho had broken (p 2ith him# follo2ed by the Hennie story) 4n light of the (nfolding topics in the form of complaint stories# Lictor:s Hennie story oscillates bet2een t2o orientations) 1n the one hand# Lictor can be heard as fla(nting his a(thority of kno2ing abo(t girls: p(rs(it of boys) $nd presenting himself as (ninvolved and (nresponsive vis/I/vis s(ch attempts# he brings off a certain stance of *typically masc(line, cool) 1n the other# he can be interpreted as 3oining the chor(s of second stories that complain abo(t girls: *and mothers:, tendencies to embarrass them) "ithin this version# he presents himself//3(st as Billie did in his t(rn//as s(b3ected to the actions of the generali=ed female other5 and sim(ltaneo(sly as deeply v(lnerable) ;ote that this latter interpretation goes beyond the interpretation of Lictor:s story as a complaint) 4n the sharing of their stories# the sing(lar and (ni.(e e0periences of the five participants have gained the stat(s of generali=able kno2ledge that is collectively disclosed) -elling these personal e0periences in storied forms itself is v(lnerable territory//and this seems to be highly reflected in Lictor:s story abo(t Hennie and his post/narrative attempt to negotiate Hennie:s si=e) 4n spite of the fact that these stories are caref(lly navigated territories# sharing s(ch stories is relational 2ork that has the potential to b(ild tr(st and intimacy among the participants) -o s(m (p# in o(r attempts to disambig(ate the Hennie story and fig(re o(t 2hat this story means and 2hy it 2as shared at this partic(lar point in the interaction# 2e entered the vie2points and val(es of the local c(lt(re of ten/year/olds as a comm(nity of story/sharing practices# a narrative reality *B(bri(m G >olstein# + far beyond the te0t# its form and content# and into the 2orld of narrative practice) 9, that goes


%ummary and reflection "e started 2ith the ass(mption that narrative analysis lays open# in the sense of making transparent# ho2 narrators (se narrative means in order to give *narrative, form and thereby make sense of events and e0periences) 4n order to be able to do this# this chapter dre2 on three approaches to 2ork 2ith narratives: *i, a ling(istic/based approach that 2orks thro(gh the le0ical and syntactic config(rations of te0ts and follo2s their b(ild/(p into the topical organi=ation of the te0t# *ii, a cognitive/based approach that 2orks from the ass(mption that the story segments are held together by an overarching str(ct(re of the plot organi=ation# and *iii, an interactive/ based approach that vie2s stories *and their meanings, as local accomplishments among participants) $ltho(gh all three approaches 2ork 2ith different ass(mptions of 2hat people do 2hen they engage in story/telling activities# and altho(gh each of them starts from different (nits of analysis as analytic givens and# in addition# is likely to ask different types of research .(estions# 2e took these three approaches and applied them to a partic(lar instance of storytelling) -he partic(lar instance of storytelling 2as deliberately one in 2hich there are different 2ays of making sense of the story//2hat the story is abo(t and the p(rpose it can be arg(ed to serve interactively) "e first 2ere (sing the methods available to identify 2hether there act(ally is a story that is being shared# and 2here this story starts and ends) <rom there 2e made transparent the different layers of topical consistency and thematic coherence in order to move into the .(estion 2hat interactive p(rposes the telling of this story may have had) ?nding (p 2ith no definitive ans2er may be vie2ed as a shortcoming of the methods employed) >o2ever# rather than giving definitive ans2ers to partic(lar research .(estions# it 2as the declared p(rpose of this chapter to raise .(estions to 2hich narrative approaches may be (sed in search for ans2ers)


-(rning back to the overarching goal of the research pro3ect from 2here this small interactive narrative had originated# 2hich 2as the investigation of % /%5/year/old boys: positioning strategies *also called discursive or interpretive repertoires,# there nevertheless are some important insights 2e are able to take a2ay from this kind of analysis performed so far) "hat can be interpreted as ambivalence bet2een hearing Lictor as both complaining and boasting may be nothing more than navigating dilemmatic positions that p(ll into different directions) 1ne p(ll that 2e co(ld identify in similar narratives 2ithin this age gro(p of boys is taking shape in a plot orientation *also called master narrative,# 2ithin 2hich yo(ng boys seek to differentiate a *male, sense of self from the female other# 2hile the other plot orientation p(lls for a more integrated approach of *male, self and *female, other) Both are different in terms of relational investments in others# i)e)# those 2ho are placed in membership categories different from self and in/gro(p# and at the same time both plot orientations do different disc(rsive 2ork in different sit(ations *cf) Bamberg# + % b5 Bamberg G Beorgakopo(lo(# + A,) 4ndeed#

findings like this led (s to reali=e the potential of story/telling practices as the field par e0cellence 2here different narrative plot orientations are tried o(t and navigated as# 2hat 2e called# identity pro*ects *Bamberg# + + b5 Bamberg# De<ina G !chiffrin# + % ,) >aving started at the onset of this contrib(tion from a definition according to 2hich narratives 9give narrative form to e0perience#: 2e no2 are able to refine this definition: $part from e0actly doing that# narratives in the 2ay they are practiced in everyday interactions also are the testing gro(nds for compliance and resistance to dominant versions# 2here ambivalence can interactively be displayed and tried o(t in different comm(nities of practices# and 2here these narrative practices are the gro(nds in 2hich identities and sense of self can constantly be innovated and redefined)


-he attempt has been made to sho2 that each of the three approaches laid o(t in this chapter has its o2n merits and shortcomings) Making transparent 2hat cohesive ties feed the b(ild/(p of 2hat the te0t is topically abo(t forms a first and necessary step in c(ing the a(dience into 2hat activity is going on and 2hat the potential p(rposes may be for making that partic(lar e0perience from five years ago relevant to the here/and/no2 of the telling sit(ation) $naly=ing the part 2hole relationships in terms of their top/do2n concept(al integration into plot organi=ations presents a second layer of analytic 2ork that points to2ard some overarching thematic relevance that the story may have for the narrator//again tied into the local sit(ation of sharing) >o2ever# both analytic proced(res remain fi0ated on te0ts# either in terms of their ling(istic or concept(al str(ct(ring) -hey both form starting points to be complemented by scr(tiny of a third analytic layer that t(rns more closely to the f(nctions of the te0t(al means analy=ed in the preceding t2o layers) 4n addition# this approach also s(ggests investigating the inter/te0t(al embeddedness of the te0t *the before and after, along 2ith the (se of other bodily means that are bro(ght to bear in the telling of the narrative) $s doc(mented# this layer of interpretive analysis takes the interpreter into the realm of narrative practices as the place to analy=e the p(rpose and the accomplishment of 2hat is going on) 4t sho(ld be noted that re/concept(ali=ing the three narrative methods *te0ts as 2ords and sentences5 te0ts as plots and themes5 and going beyond the te0t and asking 2hy this story here/ and/no2, as analytic layers that offer insights into narratives as te0ts/in/interactions is not straightfor2ard) 1n the one hand# it needs to be emphasi=ed that the analytic orientations start from different ass(mptions abo(t the person# abo(t lang(age# and abo(t narrative) -he three orientations also are inspired by different research traditions# asking different *research, .(estions) $gainst this backdrop# the (se of three approaches as matrices for different analytic


layers sho(ld not be constr(ed as a ticket to *randomly, mi0 methods or to triang(late in order to find o(t more abo(t narrative te0ts andDor practices) ;evertheless# and this is a topic 2orth follo2ing (p else2here# seeing the three different approaches applied ne0t to one another// modifying the data contin(o(sly so that these three approaches can speak to the data *and the data to the different .(estions being p(rs(ed,# helps seeing them as practices that are not necessarily only in competition b(t also employable together)

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year/olds: V4 kno2 it may so(nd mean to say this# b(t 2e co(ldnOt really care less abo(t her any2ay7) -uman #evelopment) 0.# &# EE%/E5E) Bamberg# M) *+ % a,) Blank check for biographyK 1penness and ingen(ity in the management of the 9"ho/$m/4/U(estion:) 4n D) !chiffrin# $) De<ina# G $) ;yl(nd *?ds),) Telling stories *pp) %A%/%99,) Beorgeto2n#DC: Beorgeto2n University Press) Bamberg# M) *+ % b,) "ho am 4K//;arration and its contrib(tion for self and identity) Theory 1 2sychology# in press)


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identity analysis) Text & Talk, 28(3), 3''-3)&. 1am/erg, 7, De :ina, !., ; <chiffrin, D. (#+*+). Discursive perspectives on identit, construction. In <. <, >. ?u,c32 ; @. @ignoles (Eds.), Handbook of identity theory and research. 1erlinABe. Cor3 <pringer @erlag. Br(ner# H) !) *%9A&,) 3ctual minds) possible worlds) Cambridge# M$: >arvard University Press) Br(ner# H)!) *%99%,) -he narrative constr(ction of reality) 4ritical Inquiry) 56*%,# %/+%) B(bri(m# H)<)# G >olstein# H)$) *+ 9,) 3nalyzing narrative reality) -ho(sand 1aks# C$: !age)

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