ABSTRACT

This chapter focuses on the narrative dimension of embeddedness. Ochs and Capps describe embeddedness as the extent to which a narrative is connected to its surrounding discourse and social activity (2001, 36). Social activity includes the physical situation in which the narrative is embedded, which I bring under the umbrella term behavioral context. The physical spaces embedded in behavioral contexts are an important resource for building storyworlds and positioning narrators and their audiences. Physical spaces, and the places found in them, are a central feature of the stories examined in this chapter, which are taken from an online archive of oral histories: the international project called [murmur].1 These stories of everyday experience contrast with narratives found in earlier chapters in that the [murmur] stories are designed to be listened to (rather than read), preferably via a mobile device (such as a cell phone) in a geographical location that maps directly onto the locations projected from the storyworld. Thus the discussion in this chapter takes into account the multimodal, experiential nature of storytelling, and focuses less on the dialogic interaction between narrator and audience and more on the audience’s identity as positioned within the behavioral contexts of narrative reception.