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Stories, community, and place : narratives from middle America

Author: Barbara Johnstone
Publisher: Bloomington : Indiana University Press, ©1990.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
From the Blurb: Though social scientists often talk about the "mainstream" of American society, they have very rarely studied it. Stories, Community, and Place does look at this group, examining the socio-linguistic behavior of the white middle-class population of a Midwest city. Barbara Johnstone focuses on the stories people tell about their lives and the stories they jointly create to define the place where they  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Johnstone, Barbara.
Stories, community, and place.
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, ©1990
(OCoLC)555496720
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Barbara Johnstone
ISBN: 025333134X 9780253331342
OCLC Number: 20996490
Description: 148 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Acknowledgments --
Stories from the heartland --
Aspects of conventionality: structure and theme in personal narrative --
Storytelling in the particular: individual choice and the negotiation of meaning --
Stories and social relations --
Uses of place: details and local color --
City that saved itself: community stories and the rhetoric of place --
Tales about tales: narrative discourse, community, and place --
Notes --
References --
Index.
Responsibility: Barbara Johnstone.

Abstract:

From the Blurb: Though social scientists often talk about the "mainstream" of American society, they have very rarely studied it. Stories, Community, and Place does look at this group, examining the socio-linguistic behavior of the white middle-class population of a Midwest city. Barbara Johnstone focuses on the stories people tell about their lives and the stories they jointly create to define the place where they live. She looks at people's stories about incidents in their own lives, discussing what it is that these stories share, in structure and in theme, and what it is that gives each speaker a creative individual voice. She then examines how people use narrative to create, perpetuate, and manipulate social roles and relations. How, for example, are gender roles reflected in the stories women and men tell, and how do men's and women's stories create worlds of contest and community? How do people use reported speech to indicate what their relationships to police officers and other authority figures are like, while simultaneously suggesting what these relationships should be like? The final section of the book connects narrative with place. The author shows, for example, how stories are anchored in the local sociolinguistic world partly by being anchored in the local physical world. Another kind of connection between narrative and place is exemplified in a "community story" created by the media about a natural disaster in the city. This is a story which belongs to the city rather than to any of its citizens, and one in which the city and its citizens become one. Stories, Community, and Place will be of interest to linguists, anthropologists, sociologists, and folklorists, as well as to narratologists of any persuasion.

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