Self-presentation in L2 interview talk

Narrative versions, accountability, and emotionality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study draws on a narrative constructionist framework to examine the active representation of self and experience in second language (L2) ethnographic interviews and autobiographic narratives of immigrant experience. Analysis centers on two versions of a complaint narrative of institutional mistreatment told 2 years apart by a man who immigrated to Canada. Special attention is given to the collaborative work he and the interviewer engage in to story experience in ways that are sensitive to the interpretation of talk and matters of rationality, morality, truth, and consistency of represented characters, events, and actions. Despite similarities between the versions, the narrative teller uses them for different ends. In one version, specific events push him to anger and to goal-oriented action. In the other, this narrative is made to represent a more general position on the irrational conduct of people and his justifiable anger. Findings also suggest the usefulness of treating interviews and narratives not as one-off (i.e. single or isolated) tellings, but as one in a series (whether in a single setting or across time).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-76
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Linguistics
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

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emotionality
self-presentation
narrative
responsibility
interview
anger
experience
event
complaint
morality
rationality
Emotionality
Accountability
Self-presentation
immigrant
Canada
interpretation
language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

Cite this

Self-presentation in L2 interview talk : Narrative versions, accountability, and emotionality. / Prior, Matthew.

In: Applied Linguistics, Vol. 32, No. 1, 02.2011, p. 60-76.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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