All adult speakers in Western cultures have life stories argues Charlotte Linde, and the ways in which these life stories are formed and exchanged with others have a powerful effect on all of us. Life stories express our sense of self, who we are and how we got that way. According to Linde, we also use these stories to show that our lives can be understood as coherent, and to assert or negotiate group membership. These life stories take part in the highest level of social constructions, since they are built on cultural assumptions about what is expected in a life, what the norms for a successful life are, and what common or special belief systems are necessary to establish coherence. The life story, illuminated by this engrossing study, is a form of everyday discourse which has not previously been precisely defined or studied. It is an oral, discontinuous unit, consisting of stories which are retold in a variety of forms over a long period of time, and which may be revised and changed as the speaker comes to drop old meanings and add new ones to parts of the life story. The life story is a particularly rich and important area for study, because it represents a crossroads of linguistic structure and social practice. Linde's analysis is of importance to linguistics, as well as having broader implications for anthropology, psychology, and sociology.
"A treasure trove for sociolinguistic researchers and students alike. Edited by three leading sociolinguists, the 39 chapters cover a wealth of valuable material... And the cast list reads like a veritable Who's Who of sociolinguistics, with a refreshing number of younger scholars included along with more familiar, well-established names... This is a book that I will reach for often, both for research and teaching purposes. I will recommend it to my postgraduate students, and many of the chapters will provide excellent material for discussion in our advanced undergraduate sociolinguistics course." - Janet Holmes, Discourse Studies "The best, the most complete and the most integrated handbook of sociolinguistics of the past decade." - Joshua A. Fishman, NYU and Stanford University This Handbook answers a long-standing need for an up-to-date, comprehensive, international, in-depth critical survey of the history, trajectory, data, results and key figures involved in sociolinguistics. It consists of six inter-linked sections: The History of Sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics and Social Theory Language, Variation and Change Interaction Multilingualism and Contact Applications The result is a work of unprecedented coverage and insight. It is all here, from the foundational contributions to the field to the impact of new media, new technologies of communication, globalization, trans-border fluidities and agendas of research. The book will quickly be recognized as a benchmark in the field. It will provide a basis for reckoning its origins and pathways of development as well as an authoritative account of the central debates and research issues of today.
This book examines the impact of globalization on languages in contact, including the study of linkages between the global and local, and transnational and situated communication. It engages with social theory and social processes while grappling with questions of language analysis raised by globalized language contact. Drawing on case studies from North America, Europe and Africa, the volume makes three important contributions to contemporary sociolinguistics by: * arguing that concepts of scale and space are essential for understanding contemporary sociolinguistic phenomena * showing that the transnational flows and movements of peoples highlight the problem and work of identity in relation to both place and time * addressing methodological challenges raised by different approaches to the study of globalization and language contact. This cutting-edge monograph featuring research by renowned international contributors will be of interest to academics researching sociolinguistics, and language and globalization.
Composed by international researchers, the Handbook of Narrative Inquiry: Mapping a Methodology is the first comprehensive and interdisciplinary overview of the developing methodology of narrative inquiry. The Handbook outlines the historical development and philosophical underpinnings of narrative inquiry as well as describes different forms of narrative inquiry. This one-of-a-kind volume offers an emerging map of the field and encourages further dialogue, discussion, and experimentation as the field continues to develop.
Simultaneous growth in the discipline of communication and in the population of elderly individuals across the world has produced an explosion of research investigating various aspects of communication and aging. This is evidenced by the creation of specific divisions of the Speech Communication Association dedicated to providing a scholarly outlet for researchers investigating the aging process; conferences dedicated to addressing issues of language and aging; new journals dedicated to exploring communication and aging; and numerous special issues of well established journals edited by communication and aging scholars. Traditional gerontology -- which for the most part has been heavily influenced by theories in mainstream biology, psychology, sociology, social work, and medicine -- has focused on demography, personality, health, attitudes and housing issues. Social gerontology is new, prolific, and innovative, but still heavily reliant upon traditional theories and methodological approaches. To give us access to the social process of aging, this handbook moves beyond traditional notions of describing and explaining the aging process by focusing upon the "social imagery" of aging and the way in which aging is socially constituted and constructed. The editors consider communication not as an adjunct to the aging process but as the major way in which aging can be understood. To understand how individuals adapt to aging, how relationships are defined as we grow old, how doctor-elderly patient interactions are negotiated, how older workers in an organization are construed and treated, or how images are portrayed in the media and affect an audience cannot be explored other than through communication. This volume's main purpose is to synthesize and analyze the vast amount of research concentrating upon communication and aging which has been published in numerous international outlets over the previous two decades. Contributors are scholars from both North America and the United Kingdom who are experts and active researchers in the content of their particular chapters. These authors review and analyze the current literature so that readers are well informed as to future trends in both theoretical development as well as the practical results of communication and aging research.
Based on approaches from discourse analysis and sociolinguistics, this study proposes an analytical model focusing on the linguistic and discursive means narrators use to construct a variety of identities in everyday stories. This model is further exploited in language teaching to cultivate students' cultural sensitivity and critical literacy.
First-person narratives are a fundamental tool of the qualitative researcher. One of the latest volumes in the Qualitative Research Methods series, The Life Story Interview provides specific suggestions and guidelines for preparing and executing a life story interview. Author Robert Atkinson, Director of the Center for the Study of Lives at the University of Southern Maine, places the life story interview into a wider research context before moving on to planning and conducting the interview. Atkinson carefully covers the classic functions of stories, the research uses of life stories, generating data from a life story, and the art and science of life story interviewing. He also thoroughly examines the potential benefits of sharing a life story, getting the information desired and questions to ask, and transcribing and interpreting the interview. To provide further support for the reader, the book concludes with a sample life story interview. As the use and study of narratives continues to grow in importance throughout the research enterprise, The Life Story Interview becomes an even-more valuable tool for qualitative researchers in all disciplines.