Narrative and Genre: Contexts and Types of Communication

Narrative and Genre: Contexts and Types of Communication

by Paul Thompson


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Narrative and Genre: Contexts and Types of Communication by Paul Thompson

Any life story, whether a written autobiography or an oral testimony, is shaped not only by the reworkings of experience through memory and re-evaluation, but also by art. Any communication has to use shared conventions not only of language itself, but also the more complex expectations of "genre," the forms expected within a given context and type of communication. This collection of essays by international academics draws on a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities to examine how far the expectations and forms of genre shape different kinds of autobiography and influence what messages they can convey. After investigating the problem of genre definition, and tracing the evolution of genre as a concept, contributors explore such issues as: How far can we argue that what people narrate in their autobiographical stories is selected and shaped by the repertoire of genre available to them? To what extent is oral autobiography shaped by its social and cultural context? What is the relationship between autobiographical sources and the ethnographer? Narrative and Genre presents exciting new debates in an emerging field and will encourage international and interdisciplinary discussion. Its authors and contributors are scholars from the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, literary analysis, psychology, psychoanalysis, social history, and sociology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765808172
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 05/31/2004
Series: Memory and Narrative Series
Pages: 201
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Mary Chamberlain is emeritus professor of Caribbean history at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom. In addition, she is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the advisory group of the Raphael Samuel History Centre, and a member of the United Kingdom government’s Caribbean Advisory Group (1998-2002). She is former editor of the Transaction Memory and Narrative series, which now has over fifteen volumes in print.

Paul Thompson is a research professor in sociology at the University of Essex. His books include The Edwardians, The Voice of the Past, I Dont Feel Old, and The Myths We Live By. His is co-editor with Bertaux of Between Generations: Family Models, Myths and Memories.

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