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Firm Sale. Girls, however, narrate stories of a more individ- ual nature, are not so inclined to co-construction, but produce narratives which are more coherent. This, suggests Cheshire, seems to emphasize the idea that girls are more interested in the story than in the act of narration. Extract 4 below, shows how the act of telling serves Nobby, the main narra- tor, to create a sense of group identity. A lorry hit his wall.

Cheshire, Extract 5 1 Julie: my brother he must have been daft cos he came back from Spain 2 and he was ever so tired. These are two ways in which boys usually constructed group identity in these narratives of adolescent friendship. In Extract 5, however, Julie narrates a personal story which shows no elements of co-construction or familiarity with the story on the part of the addressees. The extracts above illustrate the analytical divide between the forms and the functions of narratives.

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In an attempt to avoid this analytical division, Lieblich et al. The approaches briefly reviewed in this section have examined narratives as individual and self-contained stories, sometimes making very little or loose connections with their larger sociolinguistic contexts. Placing narratives in their macrosociolinguistic context of production and consumption, however, can shed new light on the representational functions they serve in their local and social contexts.

This is the focus of the next section.


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The network shows not only what the stories, the texts, the artefacts and the core narrative have in common, but also how they differ, thus broadening the analytical perspective and helping tensions and contradictions emerge during analysis Gimenez, ; Solis, Narrative networks can then help highlight the links between the local and social functions that narratives represent. The meanings and func- tions of personal narratives enacted in their local contexts normally reflect a more macro set of social meanings and patterns, which are best captured when local narratives are networked with other narratives, texts and artefacts pro- duced in both local and global contexts.


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Although a thorough review of CDA is beyond the scope of this chapter,2 I will here define it and review some of the criticism it has attracted. Thus, CDA takes a particular interest in the relationship between language and power and moves beyond the linguistic boundaries of the writ- ten or spoken texts it analyses to examine the multiplicity of historical, politi- cal and institutional forces including values, interests and beliefs operating in a single given text. CDA has created immense interest in fields such as media communication Chouliaraki and Fairclough, , business and economy Fairclough, , education Baxter, , and language and gender Lazar, It has also attracted a good deal of criticism, mainly in connection with its terminology, methodology and data analysis procedures.

He suggests that making a theoretical and analytical distinction between them will help analysts avoid confounding analysis, inter- pretation and explanation, an arguable shortcoming of some CDA analyses. The third area of concern relates to the way CDA analyses and interprets data. Some CDA analysts seem to confound two related but still different processes in data analysis: interpretation and explanation Widdowson, Interpretation results from assigning mean- ing to specific features of a text in relation to particular contextual factors.

Explanation, however, refers to assigning significance to the text being ana- lysed in broader socio-cultural terms. Narrative networks provide a framework for the critical analysis of narra- tives that attempts to accommodate some of the criticism presented above. The framework is based on the following four theoretical principles: 1.

Representation: The narrative chosen for analysis should represent the problem rather than how the analyst theorizes and interprets it. It should also represent the values, norms and behaviour of all those involved in the social problem.

Life Stories: The Creation of Coherence (Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics)

Misrepresentation can be avoided by creating a network of repre- sentative texts, documents and artefacts around the core narrative. Falsifiability: To prevent argumentative circularity, the analysis of the narrative should consider counter-evidence, avoiding at the same time selec- tive partiality of evidence.

Contradictions, tensions and resistance should be observed. Derivation: Interpretation of the narrative should highlight the relationship between the narrative and its immediate context of production and consump- tion, as well as the network of actors and artefacts that surrounds it. This principle should be observed before the explanation of the significance of the social problem being analysed is attempted.

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Validation: Explanations of the significance of the core narrative in relation to the problem it represents should be endorsed by those involved in produc- ing and consuming all the texts analysed. One fundamental consideration that underpins these principles is the importance of the network. A network of texts that brings together the core narrative and other associ- ated texts offers the possibility of broadening the analytical perspective by considering tensions and contradictions.

In considering a work narrative see Figure Figure Whereas work narratives are central to the network, stories are supporting elements in the network which prove or disprove the issues that emerge from the analysis of the work narrative. Work narratives are collected using loosely structured prompts, sup- porting stories are more narrowly elicited.

Researcher intervention therefore also varies: work narratives involve very little researcher intervention, but researchers need to purposefully conduct the interviews to elicit supporting data. Documents and artefacts involve no intervention at all as they have not been produced for the purpose of research but rather to document the activity of a community. These theoretical considerations underlie the procedures for constructing and analysing narrative networks, as discussed below.

This division is obviously artificial. It is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to draw a clear-cut dividing line between collection and analysis as the act of deciding what data to collect is already an act of analysis. In the procedures below, each stage starts with a brief theoretical comment before introducing the actual analytical step s.

Linguistics in a Colonial World: A Story of Language, Meaning, and Power

Stage 1: Data collection This stage focuses on the social problem to be analysed and comprises two substages: 1A — the collection of narratives and the selection of emerging social issues from such narratives steps 1—3 ; and 1B — the design of a network steps 4—8. Check 1: Check for analyst bias by asking a second analyst to do step 3 independently. Also check that the emerging issues are representative of the social problem being examined.

How questions to investigate through are opportunities for promotion distributed in interviews. Network: the narrative networks around them. What do men think? Check 2: Check for different ways of organizing the support stories, the documents and artefacts. Different organization of the texts may shed new light on the issues being analysed. Stage 2: Data analysis This second stage analyses the textual and co-textual features present in the chosen texts.

This analysis will consider co-textual relations and internal patterns in the text collocations, prosody, etc. You can Collocations how certain words normally use corpora for this see Chapter 5. Step 10 Identify the semantic value of textual The semantic prosody the connotative value of relations. You can use corpora to main phrases in previous step. Check 3: Check for possible alternative interpretations. You can compare the textual and semantic patterns of the main phrases in the narratives with those in a corpus and see how similar or different they are.

Do their interpretations. Step 14 Establish a link between the issues you What are the social patterns that these local have interpreted and related issues in issues illustrate? What do they represent?

What do they challenge? Does it indicate that women the majority dominate in number and men the minority dominate in terms of power?

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Coherence | the living handbook of narratology

Check 5: Go back to the social issue you wanted to examine in step 1 and check for the connections between explanation, interpretation and analysis. They have been and still are a popular data source in a wide variety of disciplines. But the local or the personal does not happen in a vacuum. To do this, we need a wider network of texts. We need to expand the analy- tical possibilities offered by local narratives by networking them with the local as well as global social contexts where they are produced and consumed.

As an analytical framework, narrative networks can help us achieve this. Cicourel, Aaron V. De Fina, Anna.