Vol. 22:1 (2012) ► pp.122–145
Maneuvering between the individual and the social dimensions of narratives in a poor man’s discursive negotiation of stigma
In current Western consumer societies, the poor are excluded and occupy stigmatized positions. By analyzing an interview with a poor man, I look at how stigma is discursively negotiated through the interplay between individual and social dimensions of narratives. First, the interviewee resists the interviewer’s ‘poor man’-category projection by setting up alternative groups. Second, he invokes and aligns with dominant discourses regarding the necessity to own consumer goods and find a work-life balance, by which he constructs the identity of an empowered “bricoleur” (cf Gabriel et al., 2010). These findings are then related to Goffman’s theory of stigma and information control (1963) and to the inextricable link between the performed nature of narratives, their individual and social dimensions and their local and global contexts.
Cited by 3 other publications
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