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Review of  Small Stories, Interaction and Identities

Reviewer: Gabriela Iuliana Colipca
Book Title: Small Stories, Interaction and Identities
Book Author: Alexandra Georgakopoulou
Publisher: John Benjamins
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Book Announcement: 19.1358

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AUTHOR: Georgakopoulou, Alexandra
TITLE: Small Stories, Interaction and Identities
SERIES: Studies in Narrative 8
PUBLISHER: John Benjamins Publishing Company
YEAR: 2007

Gabriela Iuliana Colipcă, Department of English, Dunărea de Jos University of
Galaţi, Romania

This study is addressed to the scholarly community with an interest in
narratives. Aware of the impressive variety of trends in narrative research
which causes the very concept of narrative to remain still indeterminate and
provided with a wide range of meanings, Alexandra Georgakopoulou sets an
ambitious goal: that of breaking new ground by taking distance from the
''longstanding tradition of 'big stories''' (pp. vii, 147) and drawing the
attention to the profusion of ''under-represented narrative activities'' (pp. vii,
2) that she calls small stories, adopting Michael Bamberg's terms (2004a, b).
Explicitly placed within the framework of the new ''narrative turn'' (pp. 2, 147),
her investigation of small stories thus looks at narrative as
talk-in-interaction which cannot be dissociated from the social practices that
occur in certain spatio-temporal contexts and which, the author maintains, may
turn out to be ''crucial sites for self- and other-identity construction'' (p. viii).

The first chapter traces the major lines along which the linguistically-oriented
studies in narrative have developed, identifying the contributions which
Georgakopoulou considers cornerstones in the field and in relation to which she
constructs her own subsequent argumentation. Labov's is undeniably one of the
most important of them: ''hailed for bridging the gap between vernacular and
literary narrative'' (p. 3) as well as for pointing to the complex
inter-relationships between narrative as a mode of communication and the
socio-cultural processes, it was nonetheless subject to criticism from the next
generations of scholars who refuted the Labovian model that saw narrative as the
detached, autonomous, temporal dimension-foregrounding product of recapitulating
(personal) past experience.

The presentation of the counter-arguments to the Labovian model actually makes
way for this chapter to introduce the benefits for narrative research of the
interdisciplinary encounter with social science disciplines. Reference is first
made to the contribution of conversation analysis which has revealed narrative
as embedded in its discourse environment, sequentially managed and emergent as
the outcome of negotiation between interlocutors, and which, consequently,
treats narrative as talk-in-interaction. Informing the practical demonstrations
in chapters 3 and 4 of the present study, the chapter focuses on the link
between narrative as talk-in-interaction and social practices in order to
clearly delineate such basic discursive aspects as the convergence of
(linguistic) form, activity and ideology in communication (Hanks 1996), the
processes of intertextuality/ inter-narrativity as well as the key concepts of
genre and indexicality. The re-definition of narrative genre(s) as dynamic,
socioculturally shaped in specific settings and the connections established via
indexicality (Silverstein 1976) with social meanings emerging in the ''processes
of (re)tellings and recontextualizations of stories; […] of inter-textual links
and cross-references to previous discourses and practices'' (p. 9) may account
for further describing narrative, in sociolinguistic terms, as an essential
component of communities of practice. (see Wenger 1998, Eckert and
McConnell-Ginet 1999) Within their framework, as some of the examples to be
analyzed show, stories can be recontextualized, or rather entextualized,
according to the type of social organization and power relations, the roles and
modes of participation to the point of being reduced to reworked and stylized
mini-tellings and/ or quotable forms. And since interactional
recontextualization cannot be fully understood without considering the setting
component of the narrative, Georgakopoulou chooses to emphasize the concept of
orientation, akin to the ''postmodernist accounts of time and place as dynamic,
shifting, and socially constructed concepts'' (p. 13) and especially to the
Bakhtinian chronotope (1981) that influenced the sociolinguistic approaches to

The indexicality of place that relates to the negotiability and dialogism of
narrative as social practice reveals yet another important dimension that
Georgakopoulou is keen on exploiting: the emergence of identities in
interactional discursive sites. Moving away from the traditional identity
analysis monopolized by autobiographical accounts often resulting from research
interviews, the author favors an interpretation of identity as interactional and
performative. Therefore, the non-shared, personal experience past events
stories, displaying rather limited participation roles for the teller and the
recipient(s), are replaced, as an object of study, by small stories from
everyday talk, constructed upon a collaborative basis, moving from past to
future (even hypothetical) events and providing access not only to the teller's
but also to the other storytelling participants' local roles and to their larger
(extra-situational) social identities. Rejecting the view of self as
characterized by autonomy, integration and coherence and replacing it with one
based on fragmentation and relational processes of self sense-making, the
demonstrations in chapters 3 and especially 4 and 5 are already announced to aim
at proving the sequentiality of talk as crucial for identity work, showing the
habituality and iterability of identities deriving from ''situational identities''
(Zimmerman 1998: 90-91) and identifying the linguistic tools used by different
groups in different situations for identity construction on the discursive level
(pp. 19-20).

Finally, to create a natural link between the presentation of the theoretical
background and of the main goals of the study in chapter 1 and the chapters to
follow, Georgakopoulou explains her choice of linguistic ethnography as the
methodological approach to be adopted in analyzing the data extracted from two
different communication contexts. She justifies her decision because linguistic
ethnography appropriately provides a context-enriching and context-reflexive
tool for exploring sociocultural roles of narrative in small groups of people
that allows ''making connections between the analytical concepts (etic) and the
participants' own sense-making devices and ecologies of meaning (emic) '' (p.
22). Underlining the specificity of and linkages between the three levels
represented by the ways of storytelling (chapter 2), the sites (chapter 3) and
the tellers (chapters 4 and 5), the ethnographic language-focused narrative
analysis concentrates on 1) the conversations and diary notes (but also on the
relatively unstructured interviews) of a group of three 17-year old Greek girls
from a small Peloponnese town (Vivi, Tonia and Fotini, occasionally joined by a
fourth, Irene, who nonetheless is not considered a core member of this group of
friends), and 2) on a selection of 600 email messages exchanged by friends (3
men and 3 women) aged 28-35 who spent the previous years of their lives in
England. Collected over the last decade (1998-2000 in the girls' case, and
1995-1997, 2000 to now in that of the email correspondence), the two data-sets
illustrative of two communities of practice will be revealed to hold certain
similarities allowing for their classification into distinct types in chapter 2.
Yet they will not be equally exploited as the author seems to value more in
terms of identity construction processes the girls' dense interactional history,
rich in shared stories mainly drawing on the same main themes of male-female
relationships and sexuality, developing over time together with the topography
of their town affected by an explosion of youth-oriented leisure places
concentrated in the pezodromos (the pedestrian street).

Throughout the next chapters, Georgakopoulou resumes and tries to substantiate
by means of practical applications some of the major ideas previously
introduced. Chapter 2, for instance, starts by returning to the influence of
Labov's (1972) model of narrative structure, which is looked upon as being at
the origin of the process of canonization that stressed mainly interview
narratives about non-shared, personal experience of past events. Acknowledging
the merit of the Labovian model, namely that of relating narrative to experience
and of describing narrative as ''a privileged mode of making sense of self and
others'' (p. 32), the author cannot, however, avoid pointing out that there are
features of past events stories of personal experience that may not apply to all
interactional narratives and that conventional narrative analysis has neglected
non-canonical narratives which display multiple co-tellers, are embedded in
their local contexts, render on-going/ hypothetical/ future events
intertextually linked with the past ones and favor not only self- but also
other-identity construction. In this respect, due mention is made to Ochs and
Capps' (2001) landmark study on less conventional stories (ordinary
conversations), which has paved the way for further research on types of
non-canonical stories and their textual and interactional features, the tools
appropriate for their analysis, and their importance for the identity
construction project (pp. 34-35). Affiliating herself with this new line of
research, Georgakopoulou takes a first step towards the rehabilitation of the
narratives that were in her opinion inappropriately described as atypical/
non-canonical and which she prefers to call story-lines/ on-going narratives and
eventually, small stories, by proposing her own definition. In doing so, she
points out that the three criteria the Labovian model is illustrative of -
namely, temporality, disruption and consciousness - may give certain hints as to
the differences between narrative and non-narrative events, yet they do not
manage to successfully characterize many of the small stories under discussion.
Hence the need to stress how important it is to consider, next to them, the emic
criteria, allowing for a movement towards practice-based views of narrative,
focusing on the social consequentiality of narrative as talk-in-interaction.

This new definitional perspective on narrative helps the author distinguish,
among the numerous cases in study extracted from the two data-sets of the
adolescents' conversations and the email exchanges, four types of small stories,
all characterized by immediacy and referring to links between the participants'
previous and future interactions. The first category identified - which seems to
be better represented among the emails - is that of the stories to be told whose
bidding for telling mechanism entails ''a notable inter-textuality, more
precisely, inter-mediality between on and off line interactions'' (p. 41). It is
followed by the category of the breaking news which introduces experiential
moments to be reworked in accordance with the participants' interests
(social/professional life in the emails, sighting of men in the girls'
conversations) with a view to either giving rise to further plots (in the
emails) or to bringing in evaluative reactions that might locate the talked
about characters (men) in the social space and mark them out for certain
identities (in the girls' conversations). Third in line is the category of the
projections (stories of future events), which dominate by far the group's
conversations (though also present in the email data as well), and which best
illustrate co-construction in communication as they require the constant
co-authoring of planned events in the verbal interactions. Last but not least,
shared stories, with their specific manifestations in the form of references,
are brought into discussion, making special reference to their close
relationship with the projections, since, as the studied examples indicate, they
often function as argumentative devices in the course of telling of future
events. ''Rich in symbolic associations and prone to recontextualization'' (p.
53), these often elliptical and cryptic embedded narratives play an important
part in advancing communication in both interactional and email data providing a
more or less oblique evaluation of the reported events by means of which
different points or interpretations may be negotiated and contested.

The description and the exemplification of the four types of small stories serve
to identify more precisely the criteria that unite the two data-sets analyzed
and that indicate to what extent small stories depart from the canon of
conventional narrative analysis. The three dimensions of tellership, tellability
and embeddedness are thus briefly reconsidered in rounding off the attempt of
defining these small, fragmented stories by highlighting the new way of looking
at narratives with a stress on their having a sequential structure that results
from co-construction, on the need of ''revisiting the relationship between
actuality and possibilities'' (p. 58), and on the way they get recontextualized
in different local contexts.

In direct connection with the line of argumentation in chapter 2, chapter 3
proposes to re-conceptualize and to refine the mainstay vocabulary of narrative
analysis. Due tribute is paid again to Labov, this time with respect to
narrative structure and to evaluation in particular, which, despite the
post-Labovian criticism, have turned out to be enduring components of the
toolkit of narrative analysis. Commenting upon samples from three types of small
stories, i.e. breaking news, projections and shared stories, Georgakopoulou thus
tries to show how narrative structure can be adapted to the requirements of the
current studies of narrative as social practice and as a mode of constructing

One of the first salient findings of her research in this chapter is the
description of narrative structure as a sequence in which stories are bound to
display consequentiality for prior and upcoming talk and which emerges as ''a
joint venture'' (p. 70) from the negotiation the interlocutors embark upon in the
process of telling,hence the need to reconsider the treatment of the
participants' roles as well. Practical examples from the data-sets allow
distinguishing between types of entry into different stories in different
settings like prefaces, typical of shared stories, or questions in the future
tense, typical of projections, and call for devising a more ''elastic model of
narrative structure'' (p. 69) in which the participants' types and degrees of
contribution would be looked into more closely.

Furthermore, keeping in mind the Bakhtinian assumption that language functions
dialogically (1981), the author also considers, using the analytical instruments
provided by ethnography, the intertextual relationships between narrative
structure and the previous stories or other shared texts as well as the
participants' orientations to structure in the storytelling process to
eventually present narrative structure not only as sequential and emergent but
also as temporalized.

Generic and structural variability of narrative are equally tackled within this
chapter. Georgakopoulou pays special attention to the extent to which structural
components, and especially complicating action and evaluation (in Labov's 1972
terms)/ experience and comment (Martin and Plum's terms 1997)/ plotline and
evaluation (in Georgakopoulou's terms), must be revisited in relation to
different genres, to different degrees and types of tellership and to the
telling roles, i.e. the participants' types of contributions to different story
parts. Table 3.1. (p. 78) best summarizes the results of Georgakopoulou's study
regarding the relationship between narrative structure and narrative genre
while, at the same time, implicitly drawing the readers' attention to the
importance of the redefinition of the category of orientation. Therefore, the
discussion of narrativized time and place concludes the chapter, relying on the
ethnographic analysis of projections from the first data-set (i.e. the three
girls' conversations) to illustrate the intrinsic relationships between places
in narratives and the temporal frames of reference and the way in which such
affordances, when shared and invoked in interaction, can legitimize or
delegitimize different versions of projected events.

Once the position and features of small stories as noteworthy subjects of
narrative research are clarified, Georgakopoulou proceeds to discuss in the last
two chapters how they can supply valuable material for identity analysis as
well. Acknowledging her indebtedness to the conversation analysis distinction
between discourse identities, i.e. participation roles, and (extra-situational)
social identities (gender, age, professional status, etc.), she builds her
fourth chapter around the idea that ''larger social (particularly gender)
identities [...] are made visible by and inform local telling roles'' (p. 90). In
order to sustain this argument, she resorts, on the one hand, to distributional
and qualitative analysis and, on the other hand, to the close analysis of two
stories of projected events pertaining to the first data-set attached to the
female adolescents' group as a community of practice. The former provides
evidence that, in co-construction, participants assume different telling
identities - i.e. different degrees and types of contribution - in the
sequential management of the story, especially when it comes to plotline (in
particular to orientation as a part of it) and evaluation as structural
components. To be more specific, three telling roles seem to emerge as potential
''platforms for the participants' larger social roles and identities'' (p. 92),
namely initiation, plotline contribution and evaluation (itself sub-divided into
embedded stories and character assessments). They further link with what
Zimmerman calls (1998) ''situational identities'' - paired in the particular
examples under discussion as advice-giver/ advice-seeker or expert/ novice - and
both point to the larger, extra-situational social identities (special emphasis
being laid on power relations and gender) informed by the shared, but negotiable
resources belonging to the community of practice.

As for the two projections analyzed, not only do they reinforce the premise that
there is a strong relation between the telling roles that the participants
assume, which vary according to the site of telling, and the larger identities
reminiscent of the tellers' age and gender-related concerns, but they also
demonstrate that this relation evolves dynamically and that it largely depends
on the self- and other-identity claims, based on the interlocutors' mutual
knowledge of the opinions, beliefs and values they hold beyond the storytelling
situation (p. 106) and which they can challenge or defend throughout the
management of the story. The co-articulation of youth identities with specific
narrative practices in the two projections in focus offers good evidence that
shared stories - whether of co-experienced events or prominently displaying
self-lamination in the use of others' reported speech/opinions - contribute to
the positive/negative assessment of a course of action or of a character, that
they are always prone to being contested in the recontextualization process on
account of their local relevance and that their investigation could shed some
light on the ways self and other are positioned in interactional narratives.

As a matter of fact, self- and other-construction in small stories becomes the
object of study of the last chapter (5). Starting from the observation that,
unlike ''big'', autobiographical accounts, small stories presuppose a different
mechanism of self-construction that is dialogical and relational, involving much
rhetorical work and the co-articulation of various aspects (gender, age,
ethnicity) of self and implicitly of other-identity, Georgakopoulou adopts
''positioning'' as a key-concept with an aim at outlining and then exemplifying
the links that establish between language choices and larger social processes,
identities included. Going again for a combination of narrative interactional
analysis with an ethnographic perspective on several situations pertaining to
the first data-set (the girls' conversations), she chooses membership
categorization devices (MCDs) and styling as her favorite tools by means of
which she could cast new light on the consequentiality of shared resources
especially for gender constructions (masculinity and femininity).

At the core of her argumentative system, there is the idea that ''positionings of
self implicate positionings of other'' (p. 124), which particularized for the
cases under discussion may be re-phrased as: the stereotyped masculinities that
are invoked and recontextualized through the girls' discourse practices
implicate self-identities of femininity and sexuality (p. 125). To demonstrate
this, Georgakopoulou proceeds to examine the style distinctiveness of the data
at hand which is ''shaped by the group's shared interactional history'' (p. 125)
and consists of such positioning cues as nicknames, assessments, membership
categorization devices (and category-bound activities) and stylizations (p.
126). They are followed at work in three interrelated processes: locating men in
(physical and social) time and place, which is instrumental in the reaffirmation
of shared assumptions and in the joint construction of (fantasy) stories of
dating; styling men in an obvious departure from the co-text of the ongoing
activity which sets into play a wide range of quotable stylized phrases
resulting from the repeated performance of shared stories and which generates,
on account of its inherent knowing allusiveness, different immediate responses
(e.g. laughter); and, finally, assessing men, sustained by larger roles they
assume beyond the local storytelling situation and which may, by
recontextualization, be put to argumentative use in the joint construction of
stories. Then, stress falls on the multiplicity of connotations of the gendered
performances which cause the author to define masculinities as ''a continuum of
socially available roles and ideologies having as two poles [...] hegemonic and
non-hegemonic masculinity'' (p. 135) and as essential for the construction, in a
relational process, of the participants' femininity and heterosexual roles and
identities. This is also an opportunity for her to refine the analytic
vocabulary related to positioning of the other and self-construction by adopting
the concept of citationality (Butler 1993) which conveys more clearly the idea
that the stylized, stereotypically gendered voices the participants in
interactional practices evoke help them develop and reflect on their own
gendered voices (p. 142). Thus, the author strives to fill in certain gaps of
previous research on subjectivity and identity and to successfully provide
fertile ground on which subsequent studies in sociolinguistics and cultural
analysis could draw to bring further insights into social and interactional
models of narrative and identity.

All in all, Alexandra Georgakopoulou's study may be described as an admirable
attempt at opening up the scope of current narrative research by emphasizing the
extraordinary, yet largely unexplored, potential of narrative forms which,
though so far regarded as non-canonical, may turn out to be of crucial
importance for understanding the way in which narrative and identity analysis
could inform each other. The author's vast knowledge of the most significant
findings of research in fields like conversation analysis, sociolinguistics,
linguistic anthropology and ethnography or cultural analysis, reflected in the
large bibliographical list, provides her current investigation with a solid
theoretical background which she constantly engages in a fruitful dialogue
through the juxtaposition of the previous definitions, conceptual toolkits for
analysis, and methodological approaches with her own. The main goals set from
the beginning - which Georgakopoulou vacillates between describing as three-fold
in the preface (p. viii) and as two-fold in the conclusions (p. 148) - are
systematically pursued throughout the five chapters, which are explicitly and
coherently connected so as to gradually complete a thorough analysis of
different types of small stories. Uniting in this study the results of her work
in the field of narrative research over more than a decade, as some of the
references and footnotes indicate, Alexandra Georgakopoulou carefully develops
her main line of argumentation passing smoothly from the basic theoretical
background and objectives in chapter 1, to the definition, classification and
accurate description of small stories in chapter 2, the re-conceptualization of
narrative structure so as to make it fit for the analysis of small stories in
chapter 3 and, finally, to the interrelationship between small stories and
(self- and other-) identity construction in chapters 4 and 5. The whole
theoretical system, which draws both on well-known patterns here reconsidered
and redefined and on newly-adapted concepts (like membership categorization
devices or citationality, to give but a few examples), is always well-sustained
by practical evidence provided by samples from the two corpora of the
adolescents' conversations and email exchanges, accurately quoted both in the
original Greek and in English translation either in the body of the study or at
its end in the form of an appendix (pp. 155-167). Furthermore, all partial and
final conclusions of the study are conceived so as to voice Alexandra
Georgakopoulou's interest in paving through her work the way for subsequent
research which hopefully may find the answer to so many questions that are still
rising regarding the small stories and their place in an interdisciplinary

There are, nevertheless, a number of shortcomings which might, unfortunately,
overshadow to some extent the merits of this otherwise very interesting survey.
Some of them may have resulted from the composite nature of the book, as several
of its sections - 2.2. (p. 40), 3.6. (p. 81), 4.2. (with its sub-section 4.2.1,
pp. 91 and 95), 4.3. (p. 98), 5.2. (with its subsections 5.2.1, pp. 125-126),
5.3. (p. 135), 5.4. (p. 140) - were published in earlier versions either in
periodicals or in collections of papers. That may account for the word-by-word
repetition of sentences (pp. 4 and 65; pp. 46 and 76-77; pp. 119 and 154) and
even full paragraphs (pp. 46-47 and 128) at different points in the study.

Other problems relate to the author's manner of handling the two large corpora
in focus, which I would describe as sometimes inconsistent. For instance, the
preface encloses Alexandra Georgakopoulou's acknowledgements to a group of four
girls, Vivi, Fotini, Tonia and Irene. However, none of the examples quoted and
analyzed includes Irene as a participant and the author explains this on page 23
on account of Irene's joining in only occasionally and, consequently, not being
a ''core'' member of the group. (Actually the reader has to guess who the remark
refers to since Irene's name is not mentioned in the sentence.) Irene's actions
are commented upon by Vivi and Tonia in one particular example (e.g. 2.12, pp.
51-52), but she is not given a voice as an active participant in any of the
enclosed quotes. Paradoxically, despite Irene's complete absence from the
demonstrations discussed in the book, the author chooses to comment in section
5. 4. (p. 141) on Irene's gendered identity on equal footing and in contrast
with those of the other three girls. Given the lack of practical evidence to
sustain the assessment, that may puzzle the readers and leave them with a
frustrating sense of lack of information on the basis of which they could pass
their own judgment on the character. A similar sense of disappointment may
equally arise from the way in which the second data-set - though more or less
openly acknowledged as secondary - is exploited in the analysis: only about
seven samples are quoted and commented upon in chapter 2 and very briefly in
chapter 3. One might have expected a larger number of email messages to be used
for exemplification out of the 600 announced in the first chapter and perhaps
some remarks on the construction of (gendered) identity in email interactions
would have enriched chapters 4 and 5 and further enlarged the scope of
Georgakopoulou's final conclusions in this respect.

Several formal aspects also seem to have been treated in a rather careless
manner. Faulty editing (occasional typos and inverted commas use problems; the
unpleasant repetition of the verb phrase ''to tap into''; the introduction of an
incomplete source on page 148 - the page number where the quote can be found is
entirely missing, being replaced by three question marks) may leave a
disagreeable impression upon the readers in association with instances - though
very rare - of defective comment structure. To be more specific, on pages 54-55,
an uninspired distribution of examples causes a puzzling break in the flow of
the argument as example 2.14 is followed, somewhat unexpectedly, by resuming
comments on example 2.13 previously introduced in section 2.2.4 with no
subsequent reference to 2.14 itself. In addition, there is one case in which
the same sentence making reference to Ochs & Capps' (2001: 57) contribution to
changing perspectives in narrative analysis is repeated as such within (bottom
of page 66) and at the end of the same paragraph (top of page 67), which hinders
the clear grasping of the message.

Yet, these flaws in the structure and form of Georgakopoulou's survey should be
considered with a mildly critical eye since they do not seriously damage the
quality of her well thought-out study circumscribed to the new turn in narrative
research. Hoping that subsequent editions will eliminate these shortcomings in
order to offer to the scholarly readership the improved result of the author's
assiduous research, I recommend this book to all those interested in exploring
the myriad forms and roles of narrative in relation to recent concerns regarding
communication in a globalized world.

Bakhtin, M. (1981). Forms of time and of the chronotope in the novel: Notes
towards a historical poetics. In M. Holquist (ed.), _The Dialogic Imagination_.
(C. Emerson & M. Holquist, trans.), Austin TX: Universty of Texas Press, pp. 84-258.

Bamberg, M. (2004a). Narrative discourse and identities. In J. C. Meister, T.
Kindt, W. Schernus, & M. Stein (eds.), _Narratology beyond Literary Criticism_.
Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 213-247

Bamberg, M. (2004b). Talk, small stories, and adolescent identities. _Human
Development_ 47, 331-353.

Butler, J. (1993). _Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ''Sex''_.
London: Routledge.

Eckert, P & McConnell-Ginet, S. (1999). New generalizations and explanations in
language and gender research. In _Language in Society_ 28, 185-201.

Hanks, W. F. (1996). _Language and Communicative Practices_. Boulder CO:Westview.

Labov, W. (1972). _Language in the Inner City_. Philadelphia PA: University of
Pennsylvania Press.

Martin, J. R. & Plum, G. A. (1997). Construing experience: Some story genres. In
M. Bamberg (ed.), _Oral Versions of Personal Experience: Three decades of
narrative analysis_. Special issue of _Journal of Narrative and Life History_ 7
(1-4), 299-308.

Ochs, E. & Capps, L. (2001). _Living Narrative_. Cambridge MA: Harvard
University Press.

Silverstein M. (1976). Shifters, linguistic categories and cultural description.
In K. H. Bassso & H. A. Selby (eds.), _Meaning in Anthropology_. Albuquerque NM:
University of New Mexico Press, 11-55.

Wenger, E. (1998). _Communities of Practice_. Cambridge: CUP.

Zimmerman, D. H. (1998). Identity, context and interaction. In C. Antaki & S.
Widdcombe (eds.), _Identities in Talk_, London: Sage, 87-106.

Gabriela Iuliana Colipcă is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of English of
the ''Dunărea de Jos'' University of Galaţi, Romania. She currently teaches
English literature, style in fiction and poetry, and narratology. Her research
interests are comparative literature, literary criticism, cultural and gender
studies, narratology and translation studies.