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This chapter is an illustration of the concepts encountered in the last two chapters. It compares the way children were socialized into good boys and girls and good citizens in the Germany of the nineteenth century, and in the United States of the 1930s and 1960s, by discussing what books young children were read to by their parents – Der Struwwelpeter in Germany, The Little Engine that Could and The Cat in the Hat in the United States. It makes apparent the different uses of symbolic power in the narratives of the time and how children are trained to respond to symbolic power and symbolic violence. I reflect on the power of narrative to shape young children’s understanding of the social reality they are growing up in and how narratives transmit values that bind families and communities together. I compare this use of narrative with present-day children’s books in the United States that move from moral prescriptivism to ethical perspectivism and multicultural consciousness. I discuss how the narratives that have held nations together are currently being dismantled by globalization, social media and divisive populist politics.
Narratives shape human understanding and underscore policy, practice and action. From individuals to multilateral institutions, humans act based on collective stories. As such, narratives have important implications for revisiting biodiversity. There have been growing calls for a ‘new narrative’ to underpin efforts to address biodiversity decline that, for example, foreground optimism, a more people-centred narrative or technological advances. This review presents some of the main contemporary narratives from within the biodiversity space to reflect on their underpinning categories, myths and causal assumptions. It begins by reviewing various interpretations of narrative, which range from critical views where narrative is a heuristic for understanding structures of domination, to advocacy approaches where it is a tool for reimagining ontologies and transitioning to sustainable futures. The work reveals how the conservation space is flush with narratives. As such, efforts to search for a ‘new narrative’ for conservation can be usefully informed by social science scholarship on narratives and related constructs and should reflect critically on the power of narrative to entrench old ways of thought and practice and, alternatively, make space for new ones. Importantly, the transformative potential of narrative may not lie in superficial changes in messaging, but in using narrative to bring multiple ways of knowing into productive dialogue to revisit biodiversity and foster critical reflection.
This chapter teases out key developments in discourse studies that have involved a radical rethinking of how stories and identities are being conceptualized and studied. First, we focus on how the role of the teller has been rethought by discussing the shift to interactional approaches to identities (cf. identities-in-interaction), including positioning analysis and small stories research. We then discuss how the personal story and story ownership have been reconceptualized with a focus on the uses and mobilization of stories in public arenas, especially politics. Third, we move to the reexamining of the role of space in the constitution of identities in stories, by focusing on work on mobile and migrant populations and on chronotopes as a concept increasingly employed for exploring the contextualization of stories. Finally, we discuss the implications of digital environments and media affordances, including the actual design and “curation” of stories, for how we tell stories and present ourselves online.
Puritan theology was distinctly literary. Defined in relation to the Bible and asserting a scriptural standard for faith and religious practice, it was firmly anchored in reading and interpretation. Conversely, puritan theology shaped puritan literature. Puritans considered the Bible as they read it and heard it taught, and they interpreted and wrote about their own experiences in light of the Bible and other textual models of religious experience. Puritan texts were shaped by theology, both because theories of reading and writing were central to puritan faith and because puritan faith was central to the lives and experiences of many puritan writers. Puritan writers – both ministers and laypeople – addressed the complexities of their beliefs and their religious experience in various genres, including theology manuals, sermons, spiritual autobiographies and conversion narratives, and poetry. Puritan writers also addressed theoretical questions about what kinds of textual expression were most appropriate and most spiritually efficacious for their communities. As ministers, political leaders, and laypeople wrestled with the challenges of their faith and its consequences for individuals and communities, they created a varied body of illuminating and moving texts that reveal the rich complexity of puritan belief and puritan literary practice.
Gender in American puritanism was shaped by both figurative language used in spiritual discourse and opportunities for religious activity afforded to women by puritan theology and congregational church organization. This chapter examines three broad areas in which gender was shaped and debated within American puritanism. The first is spiritual practices, especially as reflected in puritan conversion narratives. Here we see some of the most specifically puritan expressions of gender, which demonstrate a more mobile relationship between femininity and masculinity than stereotypes might suggest. Conversion narratives also constitute an important location for women’s public discourse particular to New England puritanism. The second is trials, the location of some of the best-known dramas of gender conflict that continue to incite and entertain modern audiences. In looking at trials, we get a better sense of how civil and religious law come together in the early New England colonies. We also get a glimpse into how class, race, and ethnicity inflect characterizations of gender. And despite the disciplinary framework, we also see another form of female agency and gender debate. Finally, Anne Bradstreet’s treatment of gendered embodiment provides an example of a woman poet’s participation in debates about gender.
Starr describes how we have became so vulnerable to disinformation in this digital era. Heargues, that, like analyses of democratization, which have turned in recent years to thereverse processes of democratic backsliding and breakdown, analyses of contemporarycommunication need to attend to the related processes of backsliding and breakdown inthe media – or what he refers to as “media degradation.” After defining that term inrelation to democratic theory, Starr focuses on three developments that have contributedto the increased vulnerability to disinformation: 1) the attrition of journalistic capacities; 2)the degradation of standards in both the viral and broadcast streams of the new mediaecology; and 3) the rising power of digital platforms with incentives to prioritize growthand profits and no legal accountability for user-generated content. Neoliberal policies oflimited government and reduced regulation of business and partisan politics contributed tothese developments, but while demands are growing for regulation, it remains uncertainwhether government can act effectively.
The joint trial of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo fell apart soon after closing arguments. Faced with insufficient evidence for convicting the pair as joint “masterminds” of a single ethnic-motivated attack against civilians, the Trial Chamber acquitted Ngudjolo but undertook to reconfigure the trial with a new theory about Katanga’s mode of liability. The military structure posited by the Prosecutor (taken from NGO reports) came under careful scrutiny, as it appeared that neither Katanga nor Ngudjolo matched the profile of the mastermind commander. Acting in striking independence of the Prosecution, two of the three trial judges found Katanga guilty under an improvised theory of criminal responsibility, based in part on questions put to Katanga during his testimony by the Presiding Judge. Although Katanga’s conviction and twelve-year sentence were not appealed, there was a powerful dissent by the third trial judge, clarifying some central controversies of the case. More controversy surrounded a later appeal of the Ngudjolo acquittal, which was upheld by a split judicial panel.
Chapter 2 demonstrates how the US Supreme Court could have used the feminist technique of storytelling by rewriting Desert Palace v. Costa from the perspective of the plaintiff, who received a jury verdict in her favor in the district court. The feminist judgment corrects the Supreme Court’s willingness to allow the defendant to write the plaintiff’s story by detailing the egregious facts in the case that shed light on the gendered treatment she suffered – treatment that included repeated severely hostile behaviors among her coworkers and differential treatment by her supervisors. The rewritten opinion gives the reader a significantly different view of the case from that offered by the original opinion. The rewritten opinion demonstrates that the feminist method of storytelling illuminates the ways in which the facts occurred in the real world, and in doing so creates a counterbalance to the supposedly “neutral” and “objective” view that the Court originally presented.
Legal assessments of whether applicants qualify for political asylum in a country of refuge rely primarily on the applicants’ narratives and on their answers to questions posed by immigration officials during a face-to-face hearing. It is incumbent upon the applicants to attempt to persuade the officials of their credibility and of the merits of their case. In their assessments, the officials take into account the applicant’s demeanor, ability to recount a coherent narrative, and other often unarticulated measures of credibility. Lacking other evidence, or in the face of disputed identity documents, assessments of discourse are central to political asylum decisions. This chapter reviews what is now substantial research on the role of discourse in political asylum hearings and decisions. It considers how mistranslation and the failure to determine an applicant’s dialect have resulted in significant mistakes. It reviews the scholarship on demeanor and reported speech acts (e.g. bribery and threats). Our primary focus is on the dimensions of narrative in the political asylum process. We begin with the largest issues posed by the narration of trauma; the difficulties faced by people who have suffered atrocities are sometimes so beyond comprehension that they escape memory and narrative. In a close examination of narrative form and structure, we discuss how narrative fails in the asylum process, for example in misplaced orienting details, in the use of repetition, in attention to what the officials regard as extraneous information, in what is omitted (especially during accounts of rape) or in accounts that appear to be memorized or that contain stock elements that have become too familiar to the officials. Our discussion of narrative attends to the ways in which discourses are evaluated as too familiar or too strange. Finally, we consider the significant roles played by discourse analysts in the political asylum process.
Research points to a higher risk for social isolation and loneliness among new immigrant and refugee older adults. Our article draws from a research project that explored the everyday stories of ageing among 19 diverse immigrant older adults in Canada. To capture their experiences of loneliness and social isolation, we use four illustrative cases derived from a structural approach to life-story narrative. To these we apply the intersectional lifecourse analytical lens to examine how life events, timing and structural forces shape our participants’ experiences of social isolation and loneliness. We further explore the global and linked lives of our participants as well as the categories of difference that influence their experiences along the continua of loneliness to belonging, isolation to connection. Finally, we discuss how an understanding of sources of domination and expressions of agency and resistance to these forces might lead us to solutions.
This chapter describes the theoretical argument in detail. It starts by discussing relevant features of civil wars, as well as scope conditions for an analysis of the Syrian civil war. Then, it discusses how civilian behavior during conflict is influenced by threat perceptions. Survival strategies are responses to threat perceptions specifically. Violent experiences in particular drive threat perceptions. These experiences are particularly likely when civilians have social proximity to perpetrators of violence. After that, it reviews existing understandings of PTSD and PTG. To connect these psychological processes to behavior, the chapter then turns to narratives and narrative ruptures. Next, it addresses how people develop opportunity to act safely. Finally, it shows how motivation and opportunity combine in order to allow civilians to select specific survival strategies.
This chapter shows how PTG and PTSD influence civilian understandings of conflict. It focuses on how civilians consume narratives that elites produce. If civilians lose their ability to continue believing narratives as they evolve, then they undergo a narrative rupture. Narrative ruptures include a loss of understanding of options for survival, so it tends to prompt motivation for migration. The chapter's development of the concept of narratives allows the book to connect processes of PTG and PTSD with how civilians select specific survival strategies. It then describes government and opposition narratives in Syria, illustrating how elites compete to produce the narrative that the largest amount of civilians will believe. After that, it provides numerous examples of narrative ruptures that occurred for respondents that the author interviewed. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of implications for narrative rupture on the debate over safe return vs. voluntary return.
Chapter 11, “The Lineage of Evil” describes the emergence of the narrative that a series of “nefarious ministers” (jianchen) successively arrogated imperial authority and acted to thwart the dynasty’s fundamentally benevolent character. Unlike the first two narrative clusters, this cluster is negative and thus introduces an element of moral tension into the larger allegorical narrative. The rhetoric of this struggle invokes the Confucian dichotomy between gentlemen (junzi) versus petty men (xiaoren), the former’s actions based on his sense of what is “open/fair/public” (gong) and the latter’s on what is “selfish/private” (si). Although the collected biographies of the nefarious ministers in Song History chapters 471–474 codified the group’s membership, a precise lineage was never fixed in Song. Although the junzi/xiaoren distinction was fundamental to Song political discourse from the Qingli period, the notion of a lineage of nefarious ministers took shape only after the assassination of Han Tuozhou in 1207, when the attendant historical revisionism cast him as parallel “type” with Qin Gui. After Shi Miyuan deposed the rightful heir and imposed Emperor Lizong on the throne in 1224, this conception of a lineage of evil ministers quickly morphed into a formidable political and historiographical weapon. The daoxue historian Lü Zhong, for example, catalogues the lineage of evil as Wang Anshi, Cai Jing, Qin Gui, Han Tuozhou, and Shi Miyuan. In the grand allegory, these “petty men,” acting in their own self-interest, had thwarted the benevolent governance of the founders, and this opposition thus explained the obvious failure of Confucian institutionalism to attain its professed political goal of replicating the governance of antiquity.
This chapter examines some conceptual problems that arise when we apply new embodied theories of mind in literary analysis. Critics have used affordance theory and models of predictive processing to reflect on narrative and genre, the literary devices and codes that shape our expectations about how a text will unfold. Instead of reinforcing the functionalist assumptions that guide cognitive scientists, including the effort to treat reading literature as just another cognitive task that is directed toward problem solving, this chapter proposes to view it instead as an emotionally engaging or ethically challenging way of reconstructing the ecology in which we think. This approach helps theorists honor the conceptual resources that the 4Es offer by giving more heed to individualized and culturally specific encounters with literary texts. I end by examining a poem that demands that we alter prevailing interpretive practices, thus exposing the way literature reorganizes emotional responses and value schemes.
With the loosening of control over cultural production from 1976 onwards, authors were also freed to focus on concerns of a more social and personal nature as well as to explore the aesthetic potential of disability. In fiction, two relevant strands emerged. In the first, we see the appearance of semi-autobiographical works produced by writers with direct experience of disability, such as Shi Tiesheng (1951–2010), arguably China’s most famous disabled author. In the second, we see the rise of explicitly fictional works, exemplified by the works of two of his key contemporaries Han Shaogong (b. 1953) and Yan Lianke (b. 1958). Chapter 4 demonstrates that, while the inclusion of disability has subverted and challenged the conventions of socialist realism to reveal hopes and aspirations for enhanced inclusion and intimacy, it has more often become the ‘narrative prosthesis’ that reinforces tropes and stereotypes. Disabled people here are variously portrayed as isolated, pitiful, grotesque, sub-human even. Exposure of and violence against the female body in particular by male authors, re-establishes power relationships and offers reassurance to able-bodied male audiences of their superiority.
Citizen sociolinguists inevitably tell stories that contextualize their own language use, drawing on personal narrative to talk about language and convey how language works in their lives. Often, these personal anecdotes lend a democratic quality to citizen sociolinguistic expertise, drawing in an audience from varied backgrounds. This chapter focuses more explicitly on the affordances of the narrative genre for citizen sociolinguistics, exploring the kinds of stories people tell about their language use, and how narrative logic informs the conclusions of those storytellers as well as the responses from their audience. I focus on the narratives that most YouTube “accent challenge” videos include as introductory material, as well as the response narratives that appear in the comments underneath those videos. These data illustrate how narrative builds affinity spaces for highly localized communicative practices, and in the process constructs an emergent sociolinguistic validity to the language claims being expounded.
Native American oral traditions unsettle any notion of linear temporality, colonial and otherwise. This chapter therefore does not observe the requirements of “history” in the usual sense. Instead, it recommends appraising the evidence of orally transmitted Indigenous texts, collected and edited under conditions of colonial reeducation and cultural trauma, to force us to think critically about the implicit assumptions inherent in our use of the term “history.” The chapter shows that oral narratives have the capacity to condense various temporal events into complex, symbolically overdetermined stories that are both literary and historical; it discusses the performative aspects of oral traditions, without which written texts are only partially intelligible; it argues that oral texts are crucially observant of place and land; and it proposes to give more weight to oral traditions in studies of Native American literature, as well as in educational settings today.
Graphic design is a learning area that relies on the use of visual representation, involving images and/or text, to convey meaning. By its very nature, visual communication is a language that is vulnerable to an unintended array of misinterpretations because of the differing semiotic backgrounds of its consuming audiences. Thus, students need to be equipped with the necessary cultural awareness to design communication that is sensitive to the varying needs of these audiences. This study employs a case study approach with a view to interrogating the curriculum in relation to multiculturalism in the graphic design curriculum. Data for this study were obtained through participant observation, semi-structured informal interviews and document analysis. From a theoretical perspective, the paper draws on Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural learning to examine the role of culture in the teaching and learning of culturally diverse students, as well as Phillion’s (2002) narrative multiculturalism to understand the narratives of the respondent students, lecturers and an industry expert. The findings point to a lack of a cohesive and coordinated approach to teaching and learning and reflect a lack of sensitivity to cultural and linguistic diversity in the Graphic Design Department.
This chapter provides an overview of qualitative research methods in substance and behavioral addictions research and practice. It discusses the nature and importance of qualitative methodologies in iterating how individual perspectives, social meanings, and lived experiences impact the nature of substance and behavioral addictions. Methods addressed include ethnography, participant and nonparticipant observation, qualitative interviews, focus groups, and participatory action research (PAR), and empirical evidence in the context of addictions is provided. Additionally, a brief summary of each method and generally understood advantages and disadvantages of each are given. Data analysis techniques covered include grounded theory, narrative and discourse analysis, and thematic analysis. Lastly, major contributions to the field of addictions regarding research on hard-to-reach and marginalized populations, evaluating treatment and intervention services, measuring risk behaviors, investigating barriers to treatment programs, conceptualizing motivational and emotional components of addiction, and aiding in the formation of diagnostic criterion are reviewed.
This chapter uses the work of Charles Taylor to frame the way in which time operates in the early Gothic. Taylor follows Friedrich Schiller in describing the cleavage between the modern and pre-modern worlds as the difference between ‘naïve’ enchantment and ‘sentimental’ disenchantment (‘radical reflexivity’, as Taylor terms it). Enchanted subjectivity was ‘porous’, meaning that the self had no defences beyond magic to regulate against animistic intrusions. Modern subjectivity, by contrast, is ‘buffered’. For Taylor, the Romantic period was that moment in which the process of disenchantment completed itself as a widely accepted, scarcely noted, norm. From across the unbridgeable divide of radical reflexivity, Gothic writers imagine encounters with an enchanted world where time is represented either as ‘kairotic knots’ affording glimpses into higher times that radically shift the subjectivity of the protagonist, or as senseless repetitions undermining the linear logic of modern character development. The chapter demonstrates how this dynamic plays out in three canonical Gothic texts: Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, Gottfried Bürger’s ‘Lenore’ and S. T. Coleridge’s ‘Christabel’.