and Richard Fitzgerald (2001) 'Categorisation, Narrative
and Devolution in Wales'
Sociological Research Online, vol. 6, no. 2, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/6/2/housley.html>
To cite articles published in Sociological Research Online, please reference the above information and include paragraph numbers if necessary
Received: 2001/3/06 Accepted: 2001/8/28 Published: 2001/8/31
A story teller ordinarily is granted a certain right of ownership over details of hise or her story and the plausability and coherence of such a story necessarily turn on the teller's claims to have experienced the events being told. How the teller experienced these events - as a storyable matter - has to do with the teller's unique access or 'entitlements' to those events.
Numerous conversation-analytic studies have examined stories in conversation and their constituent structures. In the present study we focus more on issues of narrative design, moral entitlement, and the social distribution of stories; these are themes that also were central to Sacks' work on stories, but they have been given less attention within conversation analysis... The storyteller's presence in the story goes well beyond specific mentions of ego and of subjective meaning. For example, the selection of predicates to describe and juxtapose scenic details, the temporal ordering and sequencing of narrative phases, and the grammatical tense of the story all serve to establish the teller's place within events and to provide grounds for inferences regarding what happened and what its significance might be. Story tellers commonly deploy spatial and temporal predicates that are relative to the teller's and audience's past and present relations to the events in the story.
'... a lot of us feel we've got more in common for example in industrial South Wales with say the people of Newcastle. This is our worry' [L.21,22].Through the use of this category construction the speaker is able reinforce the problematic narrative of devolution by placing himself as a member of a category group in which similar features are co-constituted. This elaborates the fear of concerning representation and the Assembly by providing an illustrative category of people, namely 'us', who as a category of population have more in common with others in similar economic (as opposed to ethnic, political, civil, national or linguistic) circumstances. Thus, whilst not necessarily including ourselves in the category he nonetheless provides a means of categorical reflection upon our own possible category dis-junctures with the national identity device of Wales.
2It may be seen here that the question is addressed by the host to the guest (G2) who is in favour of devolution and for Wales. Thus one way to continue with the organisation of the programme along the lines of 'for and against' category pairs is through the opinion category of the caller being related to the turn organisation by addressing the caller's question to the guest who occupies an alternative topic opinion.
I = interviewer
G1 and G2 = guest
C = caller
H = host
The following conventions, developed by Gail Jefferson, were used for my transcripts. These conventions denote lapses in time, overlapping talk, pace and in some instances pitch, pronunciation and stress. I have only included those symbols used in my transcriptions.
Numbers in Parentheses: e.g. (1.0) denotes the approximate duration pauses or gaps between utterances in seconds or tenths of seconds.
Point in Parentheses: (.) indicates a 'micro - pause' of less than two tenths of a second.
Letters, words or activities in parentheses: (cough) sounds, words or activities that are distinct or difficult to locate to a particular interlocutor (s).
Square Brackets: [ ] mark the points where talk overlaps.
Full Colons: ( : : ) denote an extension in the vowel or consonant sound in the utterance of a word.
Emphasis: (CAPITALS) indicates specific emphasis and change in volume.
Underlined word: ( as we said) indicates pitch change.
Equals signs: = identifies a 'latching' between utterances, whereby which utterances follow each other rapidly after a preceding utterance.
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