Abstract Overview and Contributions Fundamentally, identity is seen “as a means and an end to communication.

” (Lucy 1993), where the notion of identity as an achievement of narrative discourse is well established in the literature, but that identity can serve discourse functions is not. The major contribution of the dissertation is a model that maps out identity-images within narratives. The structure of the identity-images is juxtaposed with a Labovian narrative structure, i.e. Abstract, Orientation, Evaluation, Complication, Resolution, and Coda (1967/97). The analysis utilizing this model has yielded interesting results. For one, the internal identity structure of the narrative and the Labovian narrative structure run parallel to each other in each narrative. This parallelism creates reflexivity in the discourse whereby unfolding identity structures and unfolding narrative structures affect one another. This parallelism affords analysis a special opportunity to interpret the interactional achievements of the storyteller. This, first, opportunity is a metasemantic one, whereby the identity-images structures index the Labovian narrative ones, thus aiding in conveying the message. The parallel occurs most profoundly with the Complication and the Resolution, where problematic identity-images put the storyteller as a story-world figure at a disadvantage within the Complication, and empowering identity-images put the storyteller as a storyworld figure at an advantage within the Resolution. Complicating events go hand-in-hand with complicating identity-images, and likewise for resolving events and resolving identities; the identity-images aid in the construction of the narrative.


the metapragmatic one. is an analysis of three narratives following the methods delineated in the previous chapter. the irreducible element of this study is the identity-image elicited from the content of the text at the clausal level. Thus. 2 . it is this process that bridges from the text as an artifact (an object) to the living and breathing socio-cultural history ever ongoing and ever in flux around it. Chapter 2 explicates the theoretical motivations for the design and nature of the identity structure of narrative. These identity images are studied for how they are used in the clause as well as in the narrative. This is identity’s second discourse function. Chapter 3 is an explication of the Methods towards analysis of the identity structure of narrative. Chapter 1 outlines the motivations and arguments for the model. The first four chapters of the dissertation put forth the model. And so.A further result is born of this parallelism. the resolving identity ascends from the story-world level to the interactional one. the last three chapters embed the model in various other programs. then. where the identity structure of narrative is built in such a way where the complicating identities index (point to) the resolving. These ‘ways of speaking’ form the wider context within which each identity-image is grounded and can thus be understood and interpreted. ascendant identity. These uses are then studied for how they form patterns of talk called ‘ways of speaking’. the complicating identity-images create the opportunity for the resolving identity-images to save the day in the story-world. Chapter 4. Inline with Goffman’s conviction that the role of expression is to convey impressions of the self as part of the interaction order. followed by an exploration of genre and ethnicity (in connection to identity structure). The indexicality here is an aid to guide listeners (and analysts) in-line with the speaker’s design.

and consolidating. labeling. Method and Analysis of The Identity Structure of Narrative The participants for this study were all Ethiopian Israelis enrolled in various academic programs at one of Israel’s private institutions of higher education. and on and on until all the stories were exhausted. SCs are to be coded for attribution to self or other. and how the various narrative genres influence and relate to the identity structure of narrative. Chapter 7 embeds the model in a metapragmatic analysis of the clausal grammar. The criteria for acceptance into the program are: fluency in English. and above-average matriculation scores. the narrative is coded for the Labovian narrative structures: Abstract. Chapter 5 explores issues of genre in narrative. exceptional military service. a majority of this work focuses on establishing the notion of an identity structure of narrative as the major contribution of this dissertation. for which they were given time to brainstorm. as well as reviews the conclusions and implications of the dissertation. 3 . Each participant would tell a story. The method of analysis of the identity structure of narrative is as follows: The first three steps to coding SCs are identifying.Thus. Orientation. The participants were asked to tell stories from different periods in their life. Chapter 6 studies four “ways of speaking” when ‘ethnic mentions’ are made and the implications for the model. Evaluation. fourth. In embedding the model in other frameworks. Fifth and separately. The stories were recorded on an MP3 recorder and later transcribed. and only afterward each participant took a turn at telling a story the second round of storytelling would begin. Six males and five females participated in this study (n=11).

and Coda. this data is seen as the most spontaneous of the data in the corpus. Embedding the Model in Various Frameworks In Chapter 5. In Chapter 4. The subsequent narratives (told by males) are a response to MA’s narrative and thus also not brainstormed (pre-planned). there 4 . arrived late to the focus group sessions. the identity structure works differently. did not have time to brainstorm. Resolution.e. I suggest the terms: bigger. Recall that how tied the model was to the Complication and the Resolution of narrative (more prototypical ones). My task here is to explore not what storytellers think about themselves but how they use instances of self-in-talk for communicative and interactional purposes. more prototypical. The narratives were told one after the other consecutively. When one of these Labovian structures is missing. and outside of the more rigid methods outlined above. I argue (following Bauman 2004) for a more gradient revision of the spectrum outlined above (big-prototypical-small – Georgakopoulou 2007). The influence of narrative gradient on the identity structure of narrative is tremendous. as it was across the narratives of the pre-test (from which is was born). Then the SC codings are juxtaposed to the codings of the Labovian structures.Complication. MA. i. For this reason. and smaller. The results find that the identity structure of narrative model is salient across these three narratives. the first storyteller (female). The relationship between the identity construct and the narrative one is now accessible for further exploration. three ‘fight’ narratives are analyzed. This method informs the analysis and discussion in the dissertation. and took only one turn telling only one long narrative.

Stories are seen to be working together towards narrative and interactional ends. narrative gradient of genre oversees the intertextual relationship across narratives (cf. Inclusiveness occurs when one narrative is constituted of several narratives.e. one narrative can call up (reference) another narrative. another narrative can briefly be drawn upon to increase the tellability 5 . and use it to build a Complication. the gradient nature of genre is most explicitly made apparent in three ways: inclusiveness. thereby efficiently doing without having to develop its own Complication. Moreover. in some cases. fuzzy nature of genre. a narrative can be told within the bounds of another narrative. a smaller story would rely on a more prototypical story to fill in the gaps created by its incompleteness. i. Third. a smaller story would rely on a more prototypical story to fill in the gaps created by its incompleteness. an accurate assessment of all the narratives referenced by the speaker is impossible to achieve. Hanks 2000 for intertextuality). i.e. focus has to do with the degree to which speakers zoom into a particular event.can be no ascension out of contrast. whilst telling a narrative. Second. which is the indeterminate aspect of intertextuality leaving the generic nature of the text unfinalizable and full of creative potential. indeterminacy. Further.e. In some cases. illustrating the gradient. and thus framed by it. Second. some of the smaller stories were seen to also be bigger stories as they focus on a broader range of story-world time. fuzzy nature of genre. Third. illustrating the gradient. and focus. i. the type of relationship formed between the narratives. The five analyses presented in Chapter 5 expose the inter-generic complexity across oral narratives. For instance. Some of the smaller stories were seen to also be bigger stories as they focus on a broader range of story-world time.

In other words.of the primary narrative. Storytellers can calibrate the generic character of their discourse. where the form/structure of the narrative has a direct correlation to the form/structure of the identity. All the options create the potential for creativity and change in one’s identity (i. as well as in opposition to the other (outgroup dissociation). or to less people. or narrowing it to dissociate oneself from members of the group (ingroup dissociation). and more particularly how the participants make use of these mentions. by either relating to more people. Thus the three intertextual relationships found in this study are: reliance. and amplification. the gradient and intertextual nature of genre is a resource of the storyteller towards interactional accomplishments. The analysis of this chapter finds that identity work is the playing with boundary lines of collective associations by both widening the boundary lines to associate oneself with a larger version of the group (ingroup association). or to other people. taking advantage of their respective conventionalized expectations. collective associations). it is an emic resource and an etic problem). the focus is on mentions of ‘ethnicity” (and some ‘religion’ mentions). 6 . framing . In Chapter 6. mixing from the various regiments. The storytellers have the option to position themselves as totally on their own (ingroup/outgroup dissociation). This has implications for the identity structure. as much as it poses problems for the analyst in coding and categorizing the data (i.e.e. This is based on literature that sees it necessary that participants make relevant the categories studied by the analysts (Schegloff 1997). to tell several stories that combine to produce extra interactional force.

thereby leaving the Complication (problem) unresolved. in some of the smaller narratives. the identity is simply not negotiated with any sort of closure. In terms of the identity structure. especially they are found in the Abstract or Coda.Four ‘ways of speaking’ were extrapolated from the data. Even when the ethnic mention is part of the Complication or part of the climactic event. In terms of Labovian narrative categories. the storytellers create a sense of themselves as alone. Therefore. Yet for the most part. The third section looks at narratives of outgroup dissociation or narratives of discrimination. herein). ‘Ways of speaking’ serves this analysis at a meso-analytic level in studying ethnic identities as they are made relevant by storytellers’ explicit ‘mention’. ethnic mentions served as framing devices of the narrative. which is necessary in bridging the ‘mentions’ that occur at a microgenetic level and a more macro conception of the identities as social structures. the ethnic mentions occur in various places across the narrative. the ethnic ‘mentions’ usually serve to convey identity images that function as the disadvantageous identities to be negotiated and aid in the ascent of the interactional efficacious identity for impression management. The final section analyzes narratives of association with members of the larger Jewish community (a broader notion of ingroup than that used in the second section. This is the case in more prototypical narratives. The first section looks at narratives where the ‘mentions’ serve to isolate the speaker. 7 . exegetical function. i. The second section looks at narratives where the participant dissociates from ingroup members.e. thereby allowing for the discussion of Ethiopian-Israelis with its generalizations operating at a macro-social level. it can still maintain the same framing.

The way identities are inhabited as part of the microgenetic construction of the identity structure of narrative is a form of playing with the boundary lines of the identities. which influences the identity work accomplished in the narrative. which is a process constrained by genre (Chapter 5). the ‘other’ dominated the agent position of action verb clauses in the Complication. but she also exhibits herself as powerful at the storytelling event through her use of clausal constructions. ‘Ways of speaking’ is a useful meso-analytic device (in-line with Georgakopoulou 2007a). and this ideology bears its influence on the clausal grammar of her narrative. 1992). which is necessary to understand the indexical ground upon which the model rests. In terms of the clausal grammar. In the analysis. 1985. I embed the model (identity structure of narrative) in Silverstein’s metapragmatics – where the structure of discourse is indexical of the wider context and the speaker’s own linguistic ideology (1979. the participant presents herself as powerful in her storyworld through the imagery at the representational/denotational level. This conclusion has implications for the whole study.identity is reconceptualized here (and within the limits of the exogenous identities of ethnicity and religion) as the playing with ingroup and outgroup boundary lines by strengthening and/or broadening them on one hand. Her linguistic ideology. 8 . and the storyteller dominated that position in the Resolution. and/or dissolving them on the other. In Chapter 7. A parallel structure was found between the identity structure of narrative and the grammatical construction the narrative clauses. which she states explicitly in her narrative is that language can garner strength.

Any particular collective is physically embodied by the people associated to it. 9 . the main indexical origo (that presupposed referent of the indexical sign. which is a process that can only occur in discourse. associating with a collective or dissociating from it. It is the creative potential in each new instance of use allows for the playing of the boundary lines of identity and the taking up of nuanced positions that are always never perfectly aligned with previously established positions. narrative functions – metasemantic and metapragmatic. they are socio-cultural norms found and developed in actual discourses. etc. Hanks 1992) in which all the surface forms are grounded are “ways of speaking” that position the speakers in regards to the identities they would claim for themselves (i. positioning one identity to another). Each identity relevant instance in the corpus is a discursive play with that identity’s boundary line. the “ways of speaking” are indices of the playing with the various identities enriching them with moral value in various ways as they are made a part of daily social life: burying interactionally disadvantageous identities or ascending the advantageous ones. presupposing its rich socio-cultural historicity. The Major Results and Conclusions of the Dissertation • The biggest conclusion of the study finds that identity serves two discursive. whilst straddling the presupposed and the creative character of talk.e. Thus. discourse analysis can straddle the microprocesses of the text and larger socio-cultural context. So. but first those people need to imagine themselves as a unity. expanding or reducing the ingroup. This wider context is the dynamic boundary line of potential identities storytellers can invoke and inhabit. These identities are not physical objects in the world (or in the brain).Thus for the current study.

where all the identities contrast with (and thus index) one ascendant identity. and  Reliance – Smaller narratives may be allowed their incompleteness due to their dependence on another narrative. another narrative is referenced (invoked) to increase tellability of the former narrative. Indeterminacy – The generic category of a narrative is never finalizable. and ingroup association. • Intertextuality between narratives takes three forms. ingroup dissociation. The identity structure of narrative is amenable to Metapragmatic research of the indexical relationship between linguistic ideology and grammatical structure.  • The gradient nature of narrative genre takes three forms. i.   Framing – One narrative guides the interpretation of another narrative. . what counts as a specific event (how big or small?). The identity structure of narrative is an iconic index – like a map of a desert island drawn in the sand of that island.e. the antithetic parallelism of poetics. • • • • ‘Ethnic mentions’ in the narrative serve four ‘ways of speaking’ – ingroup/outgroup dissociation. Metapragmatic – Identity structure is constituted by multiple consolidated identity-image threads. Identity is reconceptualized as the play with identity boundaries in forming new nuanced positions to inhabit. Metasemantic . framing . outgroup dissociation. i.    Inclusiveness – One narrative is constituted by two or more narratives therein. Focus – The degree of zoom of into an event is a problem of indeterminacy. Amplification – Amidst the telling of a narrative.Narrative structure and identity structure are parallel and thus index one another.e. it too draws a map of identity in the very stuff of which identity is constituted. 10 .

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