Cultural variations in the construction of personal narratives: Central American and European American mothers' elicitation styles

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Abstract

This study examined cultural variations in narrative elicitation styles among 2 groups of mothers: Spanish-speaking Central Americans and English-speaking European Americans. Thirty-one working-class mothers and their preschool children were visited in their homes and were asked to talk about 4 past events the children had experienced. Results showed that Central and European American mothers' elicitation styles differed by emphasizing different aspects of the narrative interaction. Central American mothers' elicitation style placed greater emphasis on conversational narrative aspects, whereas European American mothers' style focused to a greater extent on the organizational narrative aspects of the interaction. Results are discussed in relation to cultural patterns of socialization and communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-177
Number of pages25
JournalDiscourse Processes
Volume30
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

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narrative
Communication
speaking
interaction
preschool child
cultural studies
working class
socialization
Personal Narratives
event
communication
Group
Interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

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abstract = "This study examined cultural variations in narrative elicitation styles among 2 groups of mothers: Spanish-speaking Central Americans and English-speaking European Americans. Thirty-one working-class mothers and their preschool children were visited in their homes and were asked to talk about 4 past events the children had experienced. Results showed that Central and European American mothers' elicitation styles differed by emphasizing different aspects of the narrative interaction. Central American mothers' elicitation style placed greater emphasis on conversational narrative aspects, whereas European American mothers' style focused to a greater extent on the organizational narrative aspects of the interaction. Results are discussed in relation to cultural patterns of socialization and communication.",
author = "Gigliana Melzi",
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