Purpose – The chapter seeks to broaden the literature on narrative identity by focusing on the processes by which collective, or group, identity narratives develop over…
Purpose – The chapter seeks to broaden the literature on narrative identity by focusing on the processes by which collective, or group, identity narratives develop over time.
Methodology/approach – The chapter combines a “netnography” approach (i.e., ethnography using the Internet) with traditional ethnographic procedures in order to develop an in-depth case study of the collective identity narratives of a selected community that is undergoing rapid economic change.
Findings – Over the course of approximately one century, there have been six distinguishable identity narratives in the selected community. We show that three of these, covering most of the period under investigation, have historical value, while three others are currently competing to become a new narrative identity adapted to the community's altered situation.
Research limitations/implications – The online survey used in the research elicited responses from a broad range of persons nationwide, including both current and former residents. The total number of responses, however, was relatively limited, and we cannot be certain to what degree they represent the views of all current members of the community.
Practical implications – The findings of the chapter may prove useful to local citizens, as well as elected officials and business leaders, as they seek to develop strategic plans for the community's future.
Social implications – The research reveals significant differences in attitudes among older and younger residents, as well as between those who had some association with the community's steel mill and those who did not.
Originality/value of paper – The chapter seeks to make theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions. On the conceptual level, the discussion raises the seldom explored issue of collective narratives. Methodologically, the analysis adds to the literature on “netnography,” which has thus far been largely dominated by scholars in management. Empirically, the chapter identifies specific stories emerging in a deindustrializing community.
What I refer to as a “monological” tendency is clearly seen in Spector and Kitsuse’s definition of their central term:…we define social problems as the actions of…
What I refer to as a “monological” tendency is clearly seen in Spector and Kitsuse’s definition of their central term: …we define social problems as the actions of individuals or groups making assertions of grievances and claims with respect to some putative conditions (2001, p. 75).There is no mention here of audiences who hear such claims and grievances. The definition suggests that social problems are spoken into existence unilaterally by those who are especially aggrieved by perceived conditions of group life. Speakers are thus of primary importance, while listeners are not. There is likewise no reference to interactions between speakers and their audiences.
The constructionist framework for analyzing social problems rests upon the concept of “claimsmakers” who engage in definitional activities. Published researches often…
The constructionist framework for analyzing social problems rests upon the concept of “claimsmakers” who engage in definitional activities. Published researches often approach claimsmakers as agents who speak social problems into existence by naming and typifying putative conditions. This established usage fails to consider several important issues. First, claimsmakers are not merely detached interpreters but are themselves implicated in conditions. Claimsmakers, moreover, are not only speakers who deliver social-problem monologues but are also audiences that engage in dialogue with other claimsmakers. Furthermore, claimsmakers are not only the authors of social problems discourse, but are also its objects in two senses. First, they appear as positive or negative typifications in their own discourse and that of others. Second, claimsmakers sometimes emerge as special symbols that are subsequently available as resources for future social-problems discourse. These considerations indicate that the constructionist framework and empirical researches may be improved through recognition of the dialectic of claimsmakers as both speakers and audiences, both agents and objects – indeed as functioning simultaneously in all these capacities. Ultimately, claimsmakers’ influence may result from having been transformed into generalizable symbols. Their agency, paradoxically, may succeed because of their objectification.
The paper addresses the issue of contrasting constructions of social problems. Using “hate crime” as an example, we focus on portraits of the problem in the Federal Bureau…
The paper addresses the issue of contrasting constructions of social problems. Using “hate crime” as an example, we focus on portraits of the problem in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports and in the New York Times. The analysis illumines how fundamental contrasts in representations of hate arise from differences in the underlying, and institutionalized, sense-making practices of scorekeeping and storytelling. We conclude by discussing the larger implications of the findings for further development of the theoretical model of “dialogical constructionism.”
Francisco J. Alatorre earned his law degree in Mexico, where he also practiced law before emigrating to the United States in 1991. He completed his Ph.D. degree in Justice Studies in 2011, and he is now Assistant Professor of Criminology at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico. His dissertation research involved a study of undocumented immigrants in Arizona.
The danger attending the use of the insufficiently purified waters derived from the Thames and Lea should, we think, be constantly pressed upon the attention of the Legislature and of the public. We regard it as a duty to endeavour to prevent the continued neglect of the warnings which have been put forward from time to time by those who have made a careful and unbiassed study of the subject, and which have recently been again uttered and emphasised by SIR A. BINNIE, the late Engineer of the London County Council. In the public interest it is greatly to be regretted that the system of analytical control, which was maintained by certain London Borough Councils with regard to the water supplied within the areas under their jurisdiction, has been discontinued. The local checks referred to were of the greatest value to the inhabitants of the districts concerned by affording timely warning when water of dangerous character was being supplied, thus enabling some protective measures to be taken. They also served the useful purposes of keeping public attention fixed upon the matter.