Narrative and cultural identities: Performing and aligning with figures of personhood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter analyzes how people summon up, perform, and evaluate recognizable “cultural identities” in storytelling interactions. Instead, with the perspectives of Goffman’s notion of footing and Bakhtin’s notion of heteroglossia, one can treat “cultural identities” in narrative as multivoiced productions. Narrative scholars have offered many perspectives on cultural identity. Some have treated the relationship between narrative and cultural identity as a psychological question (Hammack 2008), using the terms “identity” and “self” interchangeably. The chapter describes how Portuguese migrants’ daughters perform figures of otherness, presented as non-modern, older, rural Portuguese women. “Cultural identity” is too coarse of a notion to capture how people present, inhabit, and align with recurrent figures of personhood in narrative. With this approach, the chapter has shown how storytelling participants entextualize sets of figures in narrative, with and for each other. Work from a Bakhtinian perspective has focused on narrative performances of recognizable identities in single events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Narrative Analysis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781118458204
ISBN (Print)9781118458150
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Bakhtin’s notion
  • Cultural identities
  • Goffman’s notion
  • Hammack
  • Narrative scholars
  • Portuguese migrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Narrative and cultural identities: Performing and aligning with figures of personhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this