Building iterativity into positioning analysis
A practice-based approach to small stories and self
The aim of this chapter is to contribute to the ongoing debate within interactional approaches to positioning in narrative regarding the ways in which we can analytically tap into aspects of teller’s self that can be seen as stable or continuous. Bamberg’s level 3 positioning which answers the question of ‘Who am I?” has inspired a lot of those discussion and it forms a productive point of departure here too. I attempt to systematize the exploration of Level 3 with a practice-based approach to narrative that: (a) affords ethnographically grounded understandings of who people are in specific contexts, (b) places narrative analysis within a multi-method that ensures access to the participants’ moments of reflexivity on themselves and their stories. I pose ways of telling, sites and tellers as the main constituent elements of such an approach and argue that iterativity is the key-element in the exploration of all three and ultimately in the uncovery of aspects of self that are presented as relatively stable. I base my discussion on data from a study of pupils in a London senior (sic high) school and single out breaking news about the participants’ new media engagements as a significant narrative activity for positioning.
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