Publication details [#55823]

Bromberg, Joann Berlin. 2012. Uses of conversational narrative: Exchanging personal experience in everyday life. Narrative Inquiry 22 (1) : 165–172.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This article discusses how conversational narrative is used to frame and manage social relationships. It refers to theories and questions that sparked the author's research and describes how the author came to take its stance as participant observer. The author's role as participant influenced ongoing decisions about collection and analysis of conversational material. In turn, these decisions influenced the research outcome. The article introduces story exchange types, analytic units devised to study how social relations through are enacted via conversational narrative. To illustrate this, it gives two brief examples; one experience is reciprocated, the other is not. While these examples provide only a partial glimpse into various social transactions, taken together they represent a pivotal difference: participants use or refuse stories as they engage with others in talk. The author's position corroborates the work of scholars who argue for an interactive, dialogic approach to the study of discourse. All participants in conversational discourse transmit cultural norms. Through everyday talk we construe “reality“ for ourselves.