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"Who am I?": Identity, Self and Narrative within Organizational Contexts
Unformatted Document Text:  “Who am I?”- 11 PIN jc19265 reality, reality is socially constructed, she notes, “Since narrative deals with the reconstruction of past events in communication, it provides a useful site for investigating the specific details of just how reality might be reconstructed in and through particular ways of talking” (Mandelbaum, in press, p. 43). In one example, Mandelbaum (1987) shows how particular conversational moves, which were negotiated between participants through their interaction, progress the story forward. “Forwarding” (Mandelbaum, 1987, p. 154) moves the story along with the help of “ratification” (Mandelbaum, 1987, p. 155), which is understood as the validation and acceptance of the story by the listener(s). This process of providing information to the teller that the story is understood and accepted by the listener(s) provides an interactive space for participants to engage in co- construction of the narrative and of their identities. Recipient responses can range from “passive,” where the recipient minimally restricts the speaker, to “active,” where the recipient produces a turn that requires a particular response from the teller and may influence the structure of the storytelling (Mandelbaum, in press, p. 26). However, as Mandelbaum (in press) asserts “…while narratives may portray versions of self, they are often designed to accomplish some other activity…what that version of the self comes to be is often negotiated through recipient responses to the narrative” (p. 44). Unlike Goffman (1959, 1967, 1972) who presumed that identity was a pervasive concern for individuals, Mandelbaum (in press, 1996) asserts that self and identity are one of a handful of social accomplishments that participants are engaging in during interaction. Mandelbaum (1996) further states “that while interactants display an assumption that selves are fixed and immutable, and to be discovered via action, in addressing a maligned self, the repair-work that is attempted indicates a highly, local, contingent sense of self” (Mandelbaum, 1996, p. 24). This situatedness

Authors: Cattafesta, Joanne.
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“Who am I?”- 11
PIN jc19265
reality, reality is socially constructed, she notes, “Since narrative deals with the reconstruction of
past events in communication, it provides a useful site for investigating the specific details of just
how reality might be reconstructed in and through particular ways of talking” (Mandelbaum, in
press, p. 43).
In one example, Mandelbaum (1987) shows how particular conversational moves, which
were negotiated between participants through their interaction, progress the story forward.
“Forwarding” (Mandelbaum, 1987, p. 154) moves the story along with the help of “ratification”
(Mandelbaum, 1987, p. 155), which is understood as the validation and acceptance of the story
by the listener(s). This process of providing information to the teller that the story is understood
and accepted by the listener(s) provides an interactive space for participants to engage in co-
construction of the narrative and of their identities. Recipient responses can range from
“passive,” where the recipient minimally restricts the speaker, to “active,” where the recipient
produces a turn that requires a particular response from the teller and may influence the structure
of the storytelling (Mandelbaum, in press, p. 26).
However, as Mandelbaum (in press) asserts “…while narratives may portray versions of
self, they are often designed to accomplish some other activity…what that version of the self
comes to be is often negotiated through recipient responses to the narrative” (p. 44). Unlike
Goffman (1959, 1967, 1972) who presumed that identity was a pervasive concern for
individuals, Mandelbaum (in press, 1996) asserts that self and identity are one of a handful of
social accomplishments that participants are engaging in during interaction. Mandelbaum (1996)
further states “that while interactants display an assumption that selves are fixed and immutable,
and to be discovered via action, in addressing a maligned self, the repair-work that is attempted
indicates a highly, local, contingent sense of self” (Mandelbaum, 1996, p. 24). This situatedness


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