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Title: Negotiating individual and collective narratives in a contested urban space : an investigation of storytelling dynamics in contemporary Bradford
Author: Rohse, Melanie C. C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 0249
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the dynamics of narrative production and contestation within individuals’ stories and the collective stories of the communities in which they live. The research is focused on trying to understand the relationship between public stories constructed about place and community, and the stories told by the inhabitants of those places. A case study in the city of Bradford provides a focus for inquiry. A qualitative research design is utilised, combining theory with primary data collection and analysis. A narrative analysis of national, academic and local stories about Bradford is used to disaggregate collective narratives of the city and explore the relationship between popular, political and academic discourses. It provides a context for the analysis of in-depth interviews with a range of inhabitants from a selected geographic area within Bradford, centred on how their individual stories relate to the identified collective stories of Bradford. Analysis of the fieldwork data shows that individuals are often engaged in complex negotiations of public discourse in ways that may reinforce and contest existing stories, but also complement them with parallel stories that neither reinforce nor contest but construct a different narrative. It reveals and reflects on apparent contradictions within everyday storytelling, for example, how nostalgia can be displayed about harsh times of socio-economic decline, or how attitudes to change over time can be variably positive and negative depending both on the speakers’ positioning of themselves and of the interviewer, and the speakers’ purpose in the interaction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Individual stories; Collective stories; Contested urban space; Storytelling dynamics; Lived experience; Bradford; Identity; Community relations; Dominant stories