AbstractIn this article I explore the benefits of interplaying narrative and ethnography for conducting a context-grounded, sociolinguistic analysis of the representational and interactional functions of migrant storytelling events concerning dis/relocation. I focus on a series of narratives of socioeconomic and geographic im/mobility told by three Ghanaians who, unsheltered, lived on a bench of a Catalan urban town. These were gathered via “go-along” narrative interviews and multi-site ethnography during six months of fieldwork. I show that the imbrications of a social-practice and social-action approach to narrative with network ethnography allow to: (1) investigate how representation and interaction in place-centered stories and storytelling acts reveal the narrators’ positionings with respect to host-society dis/emplacement, in their alternative spaces of socialization; (2) capture what gets silenced in dis/orientation narratives, like discrepancies between stories told and lived concerning identity management across migrant groups; and (3) expose the researchers’ impact on shaping the form and content of these stories by ingraining self-reflexivity activities into all analytical accounts. This offers an informant-integrative, critical view of how migrants enact transnational survival in contexts of precariousness and exclusion, which contributes to understanding how they place themselves with regard to their non-citizenship statuses, from a socially-sensitive, non-essentializing perspective.
International Journal of the Sociology of Language – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 26, 2018
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