Psykologisk Institut

Katherine W. Panattoni

Heart-Followers, Hero, Maiden: Life Story Positioning Within a Romantic Couple

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In this case study, we conducted a qualitative narrative analysis of 4 written life stories coming from a multiethnic, married Danish couple in their twenties: 2 personal life stories and 2 life stories written about each other, vicarious life stories. We suggest, first, that in these narrations each person positioned their partner's important life experiences in ways that served that narrator's identity, while maintaining some degree of fidelity to the partner's personal accounts. Second, our idiographic analysis showed that these life stories were constructed through engagement-that is, adoption, repudiation, and creative interweaving-with redemption and traditional romance and gender master narratives from both dominant Danish culture and the couple's minority ethnic groups, suggesting that life stories and cultural master narratives are mutually constituted and navigated intersectionally. We argue that to understand a person's narrative identity, we must understand not only their storied self-understanding, but also their storied understanding of close others' lives, as well as the master narrative contexts in which the stories unfold.

TidsskriftQualitative Psychology
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 29 apr. 2019

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