Experience, Memory and Narrative: A Biographical Analysis of Ethnic Identity
In the first part of this paper, we will introduce the theoretical framework for analyzing autobiographical narratives as it has been developed by the German sociologists Fritz Schütze and Gabriele Rosenthal3, and later has been adapted by Koleva, Popova and others.4 In the second part we will use this methodology to analyze empirical data that have been collected as part of our MICROCON study on ethnic identity and the risk of inter-ethnic conflict in Bulgaria. We focus on the question of how people belonging to the group of “ethnic Turks” in Bulgaria define their ethnicity, between the competing contexts of the past (in the form of their experience) and the present (in the form of what they remember and how they reactualize it in their biographical narratives). The paper is based on the analysis of two (out of a sample of 120) narrative autobiographic interviews.
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