Understanding Storytelling among African American Children: A Journey from Africa to America

By Tempii B. Champion | Go to book overview

5
Episodic Narratives
All of the narratives produced by children were analyzed using episodic analysis. Seven structural patterns were analyzed: the descriptive pattern, the action sequence, the reactive sequence, the abbreviated pattern, and the complete, complex, and interactive episodes. The results are presented on two levels: overall production of structures and patterns within groups.
Overall Production of Structures
A total of 7 1 structures were produced. Each child produced a minimum of three structures, but some children produced more. In order of prevalence, from most prevalent to least prevalent, these structures can be classified as: complex, complete, reactive, interactive, and the action sequence pattern. Each of these episodic structures is discussed.
Complex Episodes
In complex episodes there are four types of patterns. The first two types of complex episodes can have one structure functioning as a single unit in a higher unit. This structure that functions as a single unit could be a reactive sequence or a complete episode. The third and fourth structures within this category involved some kind of complication in the pursuit of the goal. In the third type of structure a plan application may be repeated if the first attempt to reach the goal is not successful. In the fourth structure, not only is the plan repeated but there may also be an embedded episode. In the present study, 28 narratives (39%) were coded as being complex. An example of type three follows:
Sick
1. A. How about a time when you were sick?
2. C. I went to the doctors
3. C. An' my mom, she had to see if I had asthma
4. C. An' I had to go to the um store to get my medicine
5. C. An' um they didn't have it
6. C. An' I had to wait for 'em them to make it
7. C. An' urn my mom she wen' back again
8. C. An' so she kep't on goin'g back an' back an' finally it was done making it
9. C. An' I xx, when I got in the car an' she got it

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