Multiplicity and conflict in the dialogical self: a life-narrative approach

Raggatt, Peter T.F. (2006) Multiplicity and conflict in the dialogical self: a life-narrative approach. In: McAdams, Dan P., Josselson, Ruthellen, and Lieblich, Amia, (eds.) Identity and Story: creating self in narrative. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 15-35.

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[Extract] The telling of a definitive life story presents some serious dilemmas (Bruner & Kalmar, 1998; Freeman, 1993). Can one's narrative identity be captured in a single, grand, synthesizing story? Consider your own response to a request to "tell your life story." Taken seriously, the question might prove impossible to answer satisfactorily. Part of the problem is in the singularity and finality of the phrase your life story--as if there could be a definitive account. The phrase presupposes a narrative that is linear, integrated, and coherent, with all the facts about your life neatly tied together with a golden thread, a single narrative voice. I think this assumption is problematic. The story you tell will probably be but one story from a number of possibilities, and therefore the life story could never be encompassed by a monologue. In what follows I argue that the life story is really more like a conversation of narrators, or perhaps a war of historians in your head. This suggests that we must pay close attention to the synchronic, and not just the diachronic, in our efforts to understand the emergence of a narrative identity.

Item ID: 3580
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-59147-356-5
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Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2009 04:35
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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