The Narrative formation of identity revisited: narrative construction, agency and the unconscious

Redman, Peter (2005). The Narrative formation of identity revisited: narrative construction, agency and the unconscious. Narrative Inquiry, 15(1) pp. 25–44.

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Abstract

This article revisits one of the more contentious debates in current studies of narrative: the claim that identities are, in some sense, fabricated by and in narratives, and the counter-claim that individuals have inherent capacities, such as a dynamic unconscious, that precede or are in excess of any identity-building work that narrative might do. The article approaches this debate via competing theories drawn from sociology and cultural studies, contrasting post-structuralist and Foucauldian theories with a Kleinian cultural analysis of narrative. The theoretical discussion is illustrated via a story told by a young man who apparently had strong investments in heterosexual romance.

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