• English
  • Русский

“We’ve never been close, we’re very different”: three narrative types in sister discourse

Drawing on interviews I conducted with women about their sisters, I identify three narrative types: small-n narratives, big-N Narratives and Master Narratives. Small-n narratives are accounts of specific events or interactions that speakers said had occurred with their sisters. Big-N Narratives are the themes speakers developed in telling me about their sisters, and in support of which they told the small-n narratives. Master Narratives are culture-wide ideologies shaping the big-N Narratives. In my sister interviews, an unstated Master Narrative is the assumption that sisters are expected to be close and similar. This Master Narrative explains why nearly all the American women I interviewed organized their discourse around big-N Narratives by which they told me whether, how and why they are close to their sisters or not, and whether, how and why they and their sisters are similar or different. In exploring the interrelationship among these three narrative types, I examine closely the small-n narratives told by two women, with particular attention to the ways that the involvement strategies repetition, dialogue, and details work together to create scenes. Scenes, moreover, anchor the small-n narratives, helping them support the big-N Narratives which are motivated in turn by the culturally-driven Master Narrative.

Bibliography

Becker A. L. Beyond translation: Essays toward a modern philology. Ann Arbor, 1995.
Bradley B. The new American story. New York, 2007.
Brown R. & Gilman A. The pronouns of power and solidarity. Style in language. Ed by T. Sebeok. Cambridge, MA, 1960, pp. 253–276.
Buttny R. Putting prior talk into context: Reported speech and the reporting context. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 1998, vol. 31, iss. 1, pp. 45-58.
Davies B., Harré R. Positioning and personhood. Positioning theory. Ed. by R. Harré, L. Van Langenhove. Oxford & Malden, MA, 1999, pp. 14–31.
Direct and indirect speech. Ed by F. Coulmas. Berlin, 1986.
Gee J. P. Social linguistics and literacies: ideology in discourse. 2nd ed. London, 1999.
Groopman J. Faith and healing: review of The cure within by Anne Harrington. The New York Times Book Review, 2008, January 27, pp. 14–15.
Gunthner S. Polyphony and the ‘layering of voices’ in reported dialogues: An analysis of the use of prosodic devices in everyday reported speech. Journal of Pragmatics, 1999, vol. 31, pp. 685-708.
Kendall S. Father as breadwinner, mother as worker: Gendered positions in feminist and traditional discourses of work and family. Family talk: Discourse and identity in four American families. Ed. by D. Tannen, S. Kendall, C. Gordon. New York, 2007, pp. 123–163.
Krugman P. The conscience of a liberal. New York, 2007.
Labov W., & Waletzky J. Narrative analysis: Oral versions of personal experience. Essays on the verbal and visual arts. Ed by J. Helm. Seattle, 1967, pp. 12–44.
Mayes P. Quotation in spoken English. Studies in Language, 1990, vol. 14, pp. 325–363.
Repetition in discourse: Interdisciplinary perspectives. In 2 vol. Ed. by B. Johnstone. Norwood, New York, 1994. Vol. 1: 250 p.; Vol. 2: 214 p.
Rieger C. L. Repetitions as self-repair strategies in English and German conversations. Journal of Pragmatics, 2003, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 47–69.
Sacks H. Lecture notes March 11. Lectures on conversation Vol. II. Oxford, UK & Cambridge, MA, 1992 [1971], pp. 318–331.
Schegloff E. Practices and actions: Boundary cases of other-initiated repair. Discourse Processes, no. 23 (3), 1997, pp. 499–545.
Stivers T. «No no no» and other types of multiple sayings in social interaction. Human Communication Research, 2004, vol. 30, iss. 2, pp. 260–293.
Tannen D. I Only Say This Because I Love You: Talking to Your Parents, Partner, Sibs, and Kids When You're All Adults. New York, 2001. 368 p.
Tannen D. Talking Voices: Repetition, Dialogue, and Imagery in Conversational Discourse. Revised edition, Cambridge, 2007 [1989]. 244 p.
Tannen D. The relativity of linguistic strategies: Rethinking power and solidarity in gender and dominance. Gender and discourse. Oxford and New York, 1994, pp. 19–52.
Tannen D. You're Wearing THAT?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation. New York, 2006. 304 p.
Welty E. One writer’s beginnings. Cambridge, MA, 1984. 128 p.

стр. 48
Heading: 
Full Text (PDF):