Using tellability to analyze entrepreneurial narratives in the classroom
A comprehensive theoretical review suggests that tellability can be used to understand life stories, how stories are constructed, the social context shaping storytelling, and how stories function as a mode of thought. However, the complex and multi-dimensional nature of tellability has been overlooked. This study analyzes one Chinese teacher’s storytelling of six entrepreneurs’ stories as an example, aiming to demonstrate that tellability is structurally embedded within an entire story. Interpreting the stories with reference to the classroom setting reveals that entrepreneurial narratives are tellable because they institutionalize culturally salient values and beliefs about entrepreneurship, they are pedagogically meaningful, and they provide an epistemological tool for listeners to constitute their future reality. This paper argues that an analysis on tellability, informed by multiple theories and recognizant of its structural, social, ontological and epistemological nature, is effective to understand teachers’ storytelling in classrooms and unpack the meanings of stories in more detail.
Keywords: tellability, sociolinguistics, narratology, conversation analysis, narrative knowing, entrepreneurial narratives in the classroom
Published online: 23 March 2020
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