Ghosts in the Story: The Role of Audiences in Stability and Change in Twice-Told Life Stories

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This paper reports a qualitative analysis of 8 life stories obtained from 4 individuals, on 2 occasions 5 years apart. We sought to identify the ways in which life story interviews are tuned for the interviewer and the ways they reflect the individuals’ internalized audiences. Our findings suggested that even standardized interviews convey extensive information about a person that is revealed in the way s/he engages with a proximal interviewer, and in the way her/his stories suggest internal audiences.

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