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Ageing, Narrative and Identity: New Qualitative Social by Dr Nick Hubble;Philip Tew

By Dr Nick Hubble;Philip Tew

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As Hermann Broch (2002) comments of public and intellectual exchange in an era of violence and conflict, ‘the world is full of voices. Not the voices of dialogue and discourse, but muddled voices, as if from a broken loudspeaker, each shouting down and drowning out the others, a Babel of languages and ideas ignoring each other’ (42). Against such a backdrop, daily, constantly, and unceasingly, humans face an immensity of detail and eventfulness that presents itself in everyday experience, but, despite Broch’s pessimism, seem by and large not to be overwhelmed.

And the above is only a suggestive part of the overall picture of possibilities. As with all aspects of lived experience, it is difficult to capture the full plenitude of narrative and its myriad intersecting forms, the one interrelating or abutting the other. Such complex structures of narrative will be further investigated throughout the rest of this book. In conclusion, Ageing, Narrative and Identity: New Qualitative Social Research is offered as a quintessential narrative inquiry into the social 28 Ageing, Narrative and Identity and personal domains, interested in two specific yet broad contexts: (1) the social roles ascribed to and apprehended by the participants themselves, and (2) at various levels the narrative function inherent in agency and intersubjective social relations that helps sustain, reshape the production of ever-changing everyday identities and opinions, at times reinventing or revising these culturally as well as individually.

She was treated badly by the family, not really acknowledged, and she was 13 before she knew who she was. I was 24 before I knew she was really my sister. Don’t think this could happen today, children seem to be more aware. As a child I believed everything I was told. Children question more today. [ ... ] Win was a dysfunctional person from dysfunctional family Entangled plot Very muddled Illegitimate child usually blamed in those days. (True from my own experience) Instinctively the respondent comprehends MacIntyre’s point in After Virtue that, given others can offer an account or narrative of our lives (218), ‘The story of my life is always embedded in the story of those communities from which I derive my identity’ (221).

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