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The Autobiographical Self in Time and Culture$
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Qi Wang

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737833.001.0001

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Personal Stories, Family Stories

Personal Stories, Family Stories

(p.1) 1 Personal Stories, Family Stories
The Autobiographical Self in Time and Culture

Qi Wang

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the social-cultural origins of the autobiographical self. It argues that the autobiographical self is formed in and shaped by the process of family storytelling, which is situated in a specific cultural and historical context. By analyzing the forms, contents, and styles of parent-child conversations about personal and vicarious memories in East Asian and Western cultures, the chapter demonstrates that family reminiscing across cultures serves varied functions in defining the self, maintaining social bonding, regulating emotion, and directing behavior. This, in turn, contributes to the construction of an autobiographical self with cultural stance.

Keywords:   reminiscing, parent-child conversation, storytelling, personal memory, vicarious memory, memory function

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