“She discriminated against her own race”
Voicing and identity in a story of discrimination
Current studies within narrative analysis and sociolinguistics have shown that identities are emergent and negotiated in current talk and, thus, not pre-existing the now and then of a given interaction. This article presents the analysis of a story told by a black Brazilian woman describing an episode of racial discrimination between two black characters in which prejudice was transmitted through the voice of a white figure. While the storyteller articulates the multi-layered voicing in her story, she also portrays relationships and makes identity claims for herself while also drawing on, and sometimes contradicting, prevailing ideologies of race and racism in her culture. I analyze the linguistic means through which the narrator constructs different positioning levels (Bamberg, 1997) while the roles of author, figure and principal (Goffman, 1981) shift to represent the actions performed in the story world by its different characters. The narrator’s main strategies are the lamination of the characters’ speech through constructed dialogue and references to skin color, which enable her to interpret the episode of discrimination toward an individual of the same race.
Published online: 15 August 2008
Cited by 4 other publications
Hallman, Heidi L.
Qasim, Asifa & Sage Lambert Graham
Rodriguez, Terri L.
Rodriguez, Terri L. & Nihat Polat
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