Storylines

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Harvard University Press, Sep 1, 2004 - Psychology - 208 pages
What do we mean when we refer to our "identity," and how do we represent it in the stories we tell about our lives? Is "identity" a sustained private core, or does it change as circumstances and relationships shift? Mishler explores these questions through analyses of in-depth interviews with five craftartists, who reflect on their lives and their efforts to sustain their form of work as committed artists in a world of mass production and standardization.

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Contents

Studying the Lives and Work of Craftartists Identity and Narrative
1
Sources and Routes Variable Pathways in Identity Formation
21
Contingencies and Turning Points Discontinuities in the Life Course
53
Tensions and Contradictions Revisiting Claims for Coherence in Life Stories
83
Identities inas Relationships within the Family and at Work
111
Narrative Studies of Identity A Forward Look
145
Notes
165
References
173
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Page 14 - It is the acceptance of one's one and only life cycle as something that had to be and that, by necessity, permitted of no substitutions: it thus means a new, a different love of one's parents.
Page 170 - Durkheim that teach that the objective reality of social facts is sociology's fundamental principle, the lesson is taken instead, and used as a study policy, that the objective reality of social facts as an ongoing accomplishment of the concerted activities of daily life...
Page 1 - Between the timeless time of the museum and the speeded-up time of technology, craftsmanship is the heartbeat of human time. A thing that is handmade is a useful object but also one that is beautiful; an object that lasts a long time but also one that slowly ages away and is resigned to so doing; an object that is not unique like the work of art and can be replaced by another object that is similar but not identical. The craftsman's handiwork teaches us to die and hence teaches us to live.
Page 3 - England and the United States at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.
Page 3 - The pleasure which ought to go with the making of every piece of handicraft has for its basis the keen interest which every healthy man takes in healthy life, and is compounded chiefly of three elements: variety, hope of creation, and the self-respect which comes of a sense of usefulness, to which must be added that mysterious bodily pleasure which goes with the deft exercise of bodily powers.
Page 25 - ... sequences) and although they remain subordinated to the prescribed syntactical forms (temporal modes of schedules, paradigmatic orders of spaces, etc.), the trajectories trace out the ruses of other interests and desires that are neither determined nor captured by the systems in which they develop.18 Even statistical investigation remains virtually ignorant of these trajectories, since it is satisfied with classifying, calculating, and putting into tables the "lexical...
Page 14 - The presupposition of this objectivity is of course that we can understand the notion of "good for X" and cognate notions in terms of some conception of the unity of X's life. What is better or worse for X depends upon the character of that intelligible narrative which provides X's life with its unity.
Page 12 - This was not to be. The life cycle is more than an invariant sequence of stages with single predictable outcomes. The men's lives are full of surprises, and the Grant Study provides no prediction tables.
Page 56 - I did that for five and a half years." 7. Turning point "And ah it just wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Page 20 - White helps clarify the centrality of the "content of the form" and its difference from such conventional notions as style: "[Narrative, far from being merely a form of discourse that can be filled with different contents, real or imaginary as the case may be, already possesses a content prior to any given actualization of it in speech or in writing. It is this 'content of the form...

About the author (2004)

Elliot G. Mishler is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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