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Identities of Migration

A Narrative-based Approach to the Studies of Social Representation

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Débora Amaral da Costa

This book reflects upon the main methodologies used in the studies of representation in the context of migration to suggest new alternatives in which narratives are regarded as part of the corpus. The book looks at social and linguistic representations shared by Haitian immigrants in Rio de Janeiro, through short narratives. The results are part of different identity projections. This book provides data that helps in the development of new methodologies in researches about representation and integrates them into identity studies. The analysis of the information shows that representations change during the migration process and that identities assumed by the subjects contribute to maintenance or changes in these representations.

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5. The Migration Report: Context of the Interviews and Analysis of the Narratives

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Si nous parlons de construction des données (vs recueil des données) c’est que nous pensons que celles-ci ne préexistent pas au travail du chercheur mais qu’elles sont à chaque stade de la recherche, configurées par ce dernier.41

Abstract: Speakers do not have full control over their speech. Thus, the relationship between linguistic behavior and group identity is essential to the designation of belonging and to the evaluation of other groups. I focus, then, on the discursive characteristics of the expression of group relationships and the differentiation between groups. Based on narratives produced in interviews and spontaneous conversations, in this chapter, I point out the primary representations, the secondary representations, and the counter-representations, which are types of secondary representations, that diverge from those created before mobility. Conversation analysis is an appropriate alternative for this quest, for it starts from a very detailed analysis and leads to social themes that are part of the researchʼs scope. Regarding the analysis, I adopt a four-point model that comprises sequence, topic, formulation, and indexation.

Keywords: Methodology; Interviews; Conversations; Conversational analysis

Introduction

I have collected specific data through interviews to answer the questions that motivated this research. These interviews were partly descriptive, argumentative and narrative, accompanied by participant observation and field notes. The argumentative and narrative elements are more emphasized in this analysis. I use the ethnographic qualitative approach to analyze such elements because it provides a path that is favorable to...

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