Storylines: Craftartists’ Narratives of Identity

Harvard University Press, 2009 M07 1 - 208 páginas

What do we mean when we refer to our “identity,” and how do we represent it in the stories we tell about our lives? Is “identity” a sustained private core, or does it change as circumstances and relationships shift? In this thoughtful and learned book, a recognized master of research interviewing explores these questions through analyses of in-depth interviews with five craftartists, who reflect on their lives and their efforts to sustain their form of work as committed artists in a world of mass production and standardization.

The artists describe their families of origin and the families they have created, and the conscious decisions, chance events, and life experiences that entered into the ways they achieved their adult artistic identities. Exploring these continuities, discontinuities, and unresolvable tensions in an analysis that brings new sophistication to a much-used term, Elliot Mishler suggests that “identity” is always dialogic and relational, a complex of partial subidentities rather than a unitary monad. More a verb than a noun, it reflects an individual’s modes of adaptation, appropriation, and resistance to sociocultural plots and roles.

With its critical review of narrative research methods, model of analysis for the systematic study of life stories and identity, and vision of how narrative studies may contribute to theory and research in the social sciences, Storylines is an eloquent and important book for narrative psychology and lifespan development.

Dentro del libro


Studying the Lives and Work of Craftartists Identity and Narrative
Sources and Routes Variable Pathways in Identity Formation
Contingencies and Turning Points Discontinuities in the Life Course
Tensions and Contradictions Revisiting Claims for Coherence in Life Stories
Identities inas Relationships within the Family and at Work
Narrative Studies of Identity A Forward Look
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Página 14 - It is the acceptance of one's one and only life cycle as something that had to be and that, by necessity, permitted of no substitutions: it thus means a new, a different love of one's parents.
Página 170 - Durkheim that teach that the objective reality of social facts is sociology's fundamental principle, the lesson is taken instead, and used as a study policy, that the objective reality of social facts as an ongoing accomplishment of the concerted activities of daily life...
Página 1 - Between the timeless time of the museum and the speeded-up time of technology, craftsmanship is the heartbeat of human time. A thing that is handmade is a useful object but also one that is beautiful; an object that lasts a long time but also one that slowly ages away and is resigned to so doing; an object that is not unique like the work of art and can be replaced by another object that is similar but not identical. The craftsman's handiwork teaches us to die and hence teaches us to live.
Página 3 - England and the United States at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.
Página 3 - The pleasure which ought to go with the making of every piece of handicraft has for its basis the keen interest which every healthy man takes in healthy life, and is compounded chiefly of three elements: variety, hope of creation, and the self-respect which comes of a sense of usefulness, to which must be added that mysterious bodily pleasure which goes with the deft exercise of bodily powers.
Página 25 - ... sequences) and although they remain subordinated to the prescribed syntactical forms (temporal modes of schedules, paradigmatic orders of spaces, etc.), the trajectories trace out the ruses of other interests and desires that are neither determined nor captured by the systems in which they develop.18 Even statistical investigation remains virtually ignorant of these trajectories, since it is satisfied with classifying, calculating, and putting into tables the "lexical...
Página 14 - The presupposition of this objectivity is of course that we can understand the notion of "good for X" and cognate notions in terms of some conception of the unity of X's life. What is better or worse for X depends upon the character of that intelligible narrative which provides X's life with its unity.
Página 12 - This was not to be. The life cycle is more than an invariant sequence of stages with single predictable outcomes. The men's lives are full of surprises, and the Grant Study provides no prediction tables.
Página 56 - I did that for five and a half years." 7. Turning point "And ah it just wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Página 20 - White helps clarify the centrality of the "content of the form" and its difference from such conventional notions as style: "[Narrative, far from being merely a form of discourse that can be filled with different contents, real or imaginary as the case may be, already possesses a content prior to any given actualization of it in speech or in writing. It is this 'content of the form...

Acerca del autor (2009)

Elliot G. Mishler is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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