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Navigating Multiple IdentitiesRace, Gender, Culture, Nationality, and Roles$
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Ruthellen Josselson and Michele Harway

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732074

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732074.001.0001

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Evaluation of Cultural and Linguistic Practices

Evaluation of Cultural and Linguistic Practices

Constructing Finnish-German Identities in Narrative Research Interviews

Chapter:
(p.207) 12 Evaluation of Cultural and Linguistic Practices
Source:
Navigating Multiple Identities
Author(s):

Sarah Ernst

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732074.003.0012

Tying up to a postmodernist notion of identity as fragmented, incongruent, and constructed in the process of narrating (Pavlenko, 2006, pp. 13ff.), this chapter shows how Finnish-German research participants evaluate cultural and linguistic practices of the national spaces of Germany and Finland to construct conflicting bilingual and bicultural identities in a narrative interview. With the help of the analytical framework of Positioning Theory that takes the interactional embedding of the recounted narratives into account, the analysis demonstrates that the constructed identities grow out of the interview talk and are multiple on different interactional levels. On a vertical level, tellers orient both to the local interactional requirements of the interview and to broader discourses of (Finnish-German) bilingualism and biculturalism in the same moment in time. On a horizontal level they make national space relevant in different moments in time and thereby construct partly incommensurate bilingual and bicultural identities.

Keywords:   bilingualism, biculturalism, situational identity, narrative, space, positioning theory, narrative interview

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