Narrative discourse in the construction of Mapuche ethnic identity in context of displacement

Resumen:
This article examines the ways in which narrative discourse contributes to the construction of Mapuche ethnic identities within a context of displacement and investigates how such identities are negotiated in interactional contexts of communication. The larger study comprised 12 focus groups and 36 in-depth semi-structured interviews with members of Mapuche families living in four comunas (neighborhoods) of Santiago, Chile. For this article, the analysis is based on 12 interviews and six focus groups directed by a native speaker Mapuche woman interviewer and complemented by participant observations of everyday life and ceremonial events in the comunas. From a social constructivist framework, we focus on narrative genres and topics based on their emergence in interaction. Our method is through De Fina and Georgakopoulou's Social Interactional' approach, which recognizes the discursive sedimented processes that produce, for example, recognizable genres and themes typical of a group or community. We demonstrate that storytelling has a crucial role in the connections of Mapuche to their southern roots through narrative references to family centered on traditional practices recreated in an urban context.

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