Different Listener and Teller Positions, Different Narratives


  • Margareta Hydén Stockholm University


positioning, intimate partner violence, personal narrative, teller/listener interaction, interview, multi-layered narrative


By comparing two interviews with women exposed to their husbands' violence, this article shows that an exploration of the many layers of a personal narrative is not a straightforward linear process, but a circular one. Based on the analysis of one of Catherine Riessman's case stories and one of the author's, the article further shows that a narrative can change dramatically if the tellers' and/or listeners' positions change during the interview.


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Riessman, C. K. (1990). Divorce talk: Women and men make sense of personal relationships. Rutgers University Press.

Riessman, C. K. (1993). Narrative analysis. Sage.

Riessman, C. K. (2002). Doing justice: Positioning the interpreter in narrative work. In W. Patterson (Ed.), Strategic narrative: New perspectives on the power of personal and cultural stories (pp. 193–214). Lexington Books.

Riessman, C. K. (2015). Entering the hall of mirrors: Reflexivity and narrative research. In A. De Fina and A. Georgakopoulou (Eds.), The handbook of narrative analysis (pp. 219–238). John Wiley & Sons.




How to Cite

Hydén, M. (2021). Different Listener and Teller Positions, Different Narratives. Narrative Works, 10, 12 –. Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/NW/article/view/31900