Master Narratives, Identities, and the Stories of Former Slaves

| University of Valenciennes
| University of Leuven
ISBN 9789027249357 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027267108 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
This book is intended for researchers in the field of narrative from post-graduate level onwards. It analyzes the audio-recordings of the narratives of former slaves from the American South which are now publically available on the Library of Congress website: Voices from the days of slavery. More specifically, this book analyses the identity work of these former slaves and considers how these identities are related to master narratives. The novelty of this book is that through using such a temporally diverse and relatively large corpus, we show how master narratives change according to both the zeitgeist of the here-and-now of the interview world and the historical period that is related in the there-and-then of the story world. Moreover, focusing on the active achievement of master narratives as socially-situated co-constructed discursive accomplishments we analyze how different, inherently unstable and even contradictory versions of master narratives are enacted.
[Studies in Narrative, 22]  2016.  viii, 229 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction: Identity, narrative and context
Chapter 2. The slave narratives: A historical background
Chapter 3. Narratives and the historical context of the interview: Heroes and villains in narratives of law and order
Chapter 4. Different ‘slave-as-animal’-identities vis-à-vis different ‘historical’ and current dominant discourses*
Chapter 5. The white supremacy master narrative as an oeuvre civilisatrice: Navigating identities along the sameness-difference dimension
Chapter 6. An emic view on intertwined counter- and master-narratives of race, obedience, and religion
Chapter 7. Remembering and forgetting: Master narratives and memories of violence
Chapter 8. Truth, falsehood, and master narratives: The case of Charlie Smith and the fritter tree
Chapter 9. Conclusions
“Bringing together the close analysis of talk in interview and the investigation into dominant discourses about race, slavery and human (in)equality, Jonathan Clifton and Dorien Van De Mieroop offer a unique glimpse into the way former slaves in the US constructed identities and past lives in their own voice. This fascinating study speaks once again to the power of narratives as tools for understanding, sharing and negotiating human experience.”
“A brave and compelling book, with a multi-layered analysis. It infuses a corpus of data of historical significance with fresh insights from the thriving narrative analytic inquiry into identities at the same time as advancing the conceptualization of the elusive notion of 'master narratives.”
“This excellent book lends empirical substance to the abstract notion of master narratives, provides a clearer understanding of aspects of identity construction that are barely, if at all, controlled by subjects, and demonstrates how analyses of language use can contribute to the study of history – three highly commendable achievements.”
Cited by

Cited by 16 other publications

No author info given
2016. Publications Received. Language in Society 45:4  pp. 631 ff. Crossref logo
No author info given
2020.  In Discursive Navigation of Employable Identities in the Narratives of Former Refugees [Studies in Narrative, 27], Crossref logo
Clifton, Jonathan
2018. The in situ construction of leader identity in a leader’s life story during an alumni talk to MBA students. Leadership 14:6  pp. 622 ff. Crossref logo
Clifton, Jonathan
2019. Investigating the Dark Side of Stories of “Good” Leadership: A Discursive Approach to Leadership Gurus’ Storytelling. International Journal of Business Communication 56:1  pp. 82 ff. Crossref logo
Dollinger, Bernd
2018. Subjects in criminality discourse: On the narrative positioning of young defendants. Punishment & Society 20:4  pp. 477 ff. Crossref logo
Hyvärinen, Matti, Mari Hatavara & Hanna Rautajoki
2021. Positioning with master and counter-narratives. Narrative Inquiry 31:1  pp. 97 ff. Crossref logo
Mueni, Joy & Jonathan Clifton
2017. “Are men sexually harassed?”. Pragmatics and Society 8:3  pp. 447 ff. Crossref logo
Poppi, Fabio I. M. & Sveinung Sandberg
2020.  A bene placito*. Narrative Inquiry 30:2  pp. 294 ff. Crossref logo
Poppi, Fabio Indìo Massimo
2020. Omnia Vincit Amor: Narratives of Sexual Promiscuity. Sexuality & Culture 24:3  pp. 922 ff. Crossref logo
Sandberg, Sveinung & Gustavo Fondevila
2020. Corona crimes: How pandemic narratives change criminal landscapes. Theoretical Criminology  pp. 136248062098163 ff. Crossref logo
Schoofs, Kim & Dorien Van De Mieroop
2019. Adjusting to new “truths”. Narrative Inquiry 29:2  pp. 268 ff. Crossref logo
Schoofs, Kim & Dorien Van De Mieroop
2021. Epistemic competitions over Jewish Holocaust survivors’ stories in interviews. Discourse & Society  pp. 095792652199214 ff. Crossref logo
Van De Mieroop, Dorien
2021. The Narrative Dimensions Model and an exploration of various narrative genres. Narrative Inquiry 31:1  pp. 4 ff. Crossref logo
Van De Mieroop, Dorien & Jonathan Clifton
2016.  In Handbook of Pragmatics, Crossref logo
Van De Mieroop, Dorien, Marlene Miglbauer & Abha Chatterjee
2017. Mobilizing master narratives through categorical narratives and categorical statements when default identities are at stake. Discourse & Communication 11:2  pp. 179 ff. Crossref logo
Van De Mieroop, Dorien & Stephanie Schnurr
2017.  In Identity Struggles [Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, 69],  pp. 445 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 12 september 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata

Communication Studies

Communication Studies
BIC Subject: CFB – Sociolinguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2016004381 | Marc record