Narrative Consolidation of Transnational Biographies in Qualitative Interviews.

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 11:45
Location: Seminarraum Geschichte 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Marén SCHORCH, University of Siegen, Germany
Following a constructivist point of view, identity and especially the identity of persons with multiple national backgrounds and on-going transnational relationships can not be understood as given or fixed over the life course, but as generated in interactions and undergo changes or modifications during lifetime. This contribution focuses on a specific interactive setting – biographical qualitative interviews – and the methodological research question how persons with a migration background and on-going transnational relationships interactively construct and present their identity in this context. Based on the concept of narrative identity (Ricœr 1991, 1996) and on positioning theory (Van Langenhove and Harré 1992, 1999), this talk will support the position that the method of reconstructing narrative identity, introduced by Lucius-Hoene and Deppermann in 2004, is a reasonable method for analysing the narrative identity of people within a complex (trans)national setting besides more traditional forms of analysis (like Schütze 1983, 1999 or Rosenthal 1995, 2005, 2011). This statement will be discussed and illustrated on the basis of the in-depth analysis of data material of four single cases (biographical interviews) with young scientists with diverse (trans)national belongings (Spain, Turkey, Denmark and Italy, all living in Germany). The different intertwined levels of positioning in the interviews were analysed in reference to the temporal, social and self-referential aspects of the respective narrative selves and were consolidated into case structures. Those levels provide a very suitable heuristic for the analysis of transnational biographies in general, and especially underline the importance of time (the reconstruction of the past, present, prospective futures) and the dialectic with social relationships (such as family, relatives, friends, but also the researcher/interviewer) for this doing biography (Dausien 2005, Völter 2006) in situ as well as in a biographical perspective.