Narrative Psychology: The Storied Nature of Human Conduct

By Theodore R. Sarbin | Go to book overview

Notes on Typescript Notation. The typescript is arranged to display the narrative aspects of the response as clearly as possible: each line represents an "idea unit" (see Chafe, 1980; also Paget, 1983) and the units/clauses of the core narrative discussed in the text are capitalized. Italics mark extra stress, (P) indicates a pause, (. . .) unintelligible words. For discussion of transcription as a problem and different approaches, see Mishler ( 1984).


NOTES
1.
These assertions about the mainstream tradition are based on an extended critical analysis of current research practices that may be found in my recent monograph ( Mishler, 1986). Limitations of space preclude representation of that detailed argument. The analysis of an interview narrative in this paper depends on, and carries one step further, an alternative approach to interviewing developed and proposed there.
2.
The interview used in these analyses comes from an unpublished study of marital relationships at mid-life ( Mishler & Mishler, 1976).
3.
The question of whether temporal ordering is a necessary and/or sufficient condition for narratives is discussed in Mishler ( 1986) with reference to other models of narrative analysis.
4.
Requests and offers are among the prominent types of illocutionary acts discussed by speech act theorists. Searle ( 1975) refers to than as instances of the more general classes, respectively, of directives and commissives. On the whole, this tradition of linguistic-philosophic analysis has focused primarily on the presuppositions and implicit rules under which a statement will be understood as having a particular illocutionary meaning. There has been little attention to the problem addressed by Labov and the present analysis of the actions and reactions that follow a statement and of the complex social status dynamics involved. For further discussion of speech act theory, see Austin, 1962; Searle, 1969, 1975; also the review by Fraser, 1974.
5.
This discussion of the status implications of offers and requests assumes relationships as defined within a commodity-exchange culture. Hyde ( 1983) analysis of the difference between such a culture and one where the "circulation of gifts" has a significant place, suggests that offers might have different meanings in different cultural contexts.
6.
The multilayered meanings of this, or any, story may be illustrated by Dr. Roberta Isberg's response to my analysis. She reported no difficulty in understanding how the tag-episode about the doctor and his son was related to the "other" story, that is, coherence was not problematic for her, since she had viewed the full response as all being about fathers and sons.
7.
Garfinkel ( 1967) reports a striking instance of a post-study revelation and raises but does not pursue in detail how it might affect his original analysis. Eight years after a sex-change operation, when a penis was replaced with an artificial vagina,

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