Taylor, Stephanie (2005) Identity Trouble and Place ofResidence in Women’s Life Narratives. In: Narrative, Memory & Everyday Life. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 97-105.
Abstract

Work in narrative and discursive psychology offers a theoretical and analytic
approach to the meaning of place for identity in contemporary society. The
conventional ‘born and bred’ or nativeness connection between place and
residence based on long-term personal and family connection can be
understood as a canonical narrative (Bruner, 1987) and a resource for speakers
in their identity work in relation to place. Wetherell (1998) and others have
suggested that speakers engage actively in such identity work, for example, by
taking up subject positions, but they are also constrained, for example, by the
resources and positions made available by larger discourses. This constraint
can appear as ‘trouble’, when an identity is potentially challengeable as
implausible or inconsistent. In a society characterised by increased mobility
and instability of residence, such trouble can occur in conventional positioning
in relation to place. Analysis of interview data from women speakers reveals an
alternative positioning in relation to a chosen place of residence. The emphasis
on choice and opportunity in their talk is consistent with the reflexive project
to construct an individual identity of self and achievement associated with a
contemporary or neo-liberal subject (Rose, 1996; Walkerdine, 2003). However
the analysis suggests that this alternative identity work is also constrained, and
that trouble occurs in relation to a gendered identity.

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