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Difficult stories: Public discourse and narrative identity in Eastern Germany

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Anselma Gallinat


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Whilst former political prisoners of the socialist state are considered to be important witnesses of the past socialist rule by governmental authorities, able to testify about the 'regime', the eastern German public seems rather uninviting to their telling their life-stories. At the interstices of a demand for talking and a refusal of being listened to, the creation of narratives which would serve to portray one's experiencesis difficult. Following scholarship, narratives are further more intertwined with individual identity. The article explores how in this situation of tension a group of former prisoners work together at constructing metaphors and narrative structures for the telling of individual stories, which will both communicate experiences well to a public, and be flexible enough for habitable individual identities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gallinat A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ethnos

Year: 2006

Volume: 71

Issue: 3

Pages: 343-366

ISSN (print): 0014-1844

ISSN (electronic): 1469-588X


DOI: 10.1080/00141840600902695


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