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Invoking The Relative: A New Perspective on Family Lore in Stigmatized Communities

Invoking The Relative: A New Perspective on Family Lore in Stigmatized Communities

Chapter:
(p.65) Chapter Three Invoking The Relative: A New Perspective on Family Lore in Stigmatized Communities
Source:
Diagnosing Folklore
Author(s):
Sheila BockKate Parker Horigan
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496804259.003.0004

In chapter 3, “Invoking the Relative: A New Perspective on Family Lore in Stigmatized Communities,” Sheila Bock and Kate Parker Horigan further extend this volume’s section on disability, ethnography, and the stigmatized vernacular into the narrative and familial realms. While family stories always signify the values and identities of particular groups, they also open up opportunities for individuals to contest articulations of morality and blame in contexts of stigma. Accordingly, Bock and Horigan approach the concept of “family” not only as a classification of a particular folk group or a descriptor of narratives’ thematic content, but as a rhetorical strategy employed by narrators in contexts wherein their reputations and identities are threatened. Bringing together fieldwork materials from two independent studies—one examining accounts of personal and community experiences with Type 2 diabetes and another examining personal narratives of Hurricane Katrina survivors—the authors highlight how the concept of “family” serves as a rich rhetorical resource in individual accounts of community trauma by indexing material and symbolic relationships across both time and space.

Keywords:   Stigmatized Vernacular, Stigma, Family Folklore, Type 2 diabetes, Hurricane Katrina

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