AbstractThis article investigates the circulation and appropriation of the “origins” story in a social movement called Emmaus. In particular, it analyzes storytelling in two localities, Barcelona and London, at critical moments when collective identity is foregrounded for different socio-political purposes. Emmaus is a transnational social movement that (re)inserts marginalized people who live and work with more privileged members in local groups called “communities” dedicated to recycling and social projects. Ethnography is essential to situate and understand narratives in broader interactional and socio-political contexts. My multi-sited ethnography (2011–2012) affords an outlook on the storytelling practices that produce and negotiate a cultural chronoscope, “depictions of place-time-and-personhood” to which participants orient when they interact with each other (including telling their life stories) within Emmaus. Situated storytelling constructs a collective identity across linguistic and national borders at a particular sociohistorical juncture. The Emmaus story constructs a certain worldview and person types within an imagined community made up of (narrated) others all over the globe. The Emmaus chronoscope is based on the encounter between two individuals from different backgrounds, which will transform their reasons to live thanks to the shared value of solidarity with others.
International Journal of the Sociology of Language – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 26, 2018
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