Researcher and Informant Roles in Narrative Interactions: Construction of Belonging and Foreign-ness
De Fina, Anna
In this article I focus on the influence of researcher/informant roles on the types of narratives that are produced and on the ways in which storytelling interactions are managed in research contexts. In particular, I show that storytelling activities and story types both reflect and shape relationships among participants based, among other factors, on their local management of situational and portable identities. I argue that one important methodological consequence of the analysis is the recognition of the fact that all data produced in interaction (including interviews) are irreducibly context-bound and that therefore an analytical separation between observer and observed is impossible. I also discuss how a treatment of the research event and of storytelling in it as a real interactional encounter can shed light on issues related to the insider-outsider status of the researcher and the Observer’s Paradox (Labov 1972b).
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