Migrant identities in narrative practice: In-/out-group constructions of 'comrades' and 'rivals' in storytelling about transnational life
From an interpretive, post-structuralist perspective, this paper analyzes the discursive constructions of fluid migrant identities through the lens of narrative practice. I describe the presentations of the Self /the Other which get inscribed in a series of truncated stories mobilized by three unsheltered Ghanaians who lived on a bench in a Catalan town. I explore their self-attributed /other-ascribed social categories and argue that these multifaceted identity acts are a lens into how heterogeneous migrant networks apprehend social exclusion in their host societies. I show that a narrative approach to the interactional processes of migrant identity construction may be revealing of these populations' social structuration practices, which are 'internally' regulated in off-the-radar economies of meaning. I problematize hegemonic conceptions that present migrants as agency-less, decapitalized storied Selves, and suggest that stagnated populations may also be active tellers who act upon companions and rivals, when fighting for transnational survival in contexts of precariousness.
Journal or Serie
Narrative Inquiry, 2015, vol. 25, núm. 1, p. 91-112