Ethnic Subjectivity in Intergenerational Memory Narratives: The Politics of the Untold

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In this interdisciplinary study, Monika Fodor explores how intergenerational memory narratives embedded in the speaker's own stories impact ethnic subjectivity construction. Working with thematically selected life experiences from interviews conducted with second- and late-generation European Americans, Fodor demonstrates how the storytellers position themselves in a range of social, cultural, and political discourses to claim or disclaim ethnicity as part of their subjectivity. Tying narrative content, structural, and performance analysis to the sociological and sociolinguistic concepts of symbolic capital and investment, Fodor unpacks the changing levels of identifying with one's ancestral ethnic heritage and its potential to carry meaning for late-generation descendants. In doing so, she reveals the shared features of identification among individuals through narrative meaning-making, which may be the basis of real or imagined, heterolocal discourse community formation and sustained ethnic subjectivity. The narrative analysis demonstrates how the cohesive force among members of the community is the shared knowledge of story frames and the personalized retelling of these. Ethnic Subjectivity in Intergenerational Memory Narratives draws on inherited, often moving, personal experiences that offers new insights into the so far largely unexplored terrain of the narrative structure of intergenerationally transferred memory retellings, that will be of great interest to students and scholars of ethnic studies, migration and identity studies.