Presentation Type

Paper

Title of Abstract

Searching for My Sister

Abstract

My thesis analyzes adopts a discursive approach to reconstruct and recover the life history and memory of my sister, who committed suicide at the age of 21. As opposed to looking for my sister in the pathologizing, hidden accounts of diagnostic categories, a discursive approach within communication allows me to look for her in what in visible and manifest in language. I transcribed three narratives describing my sister’s life and analyzed them in conjunction with literature and a textual analysis. The narratives are spoken transcriptions from my mother, a local chiropractor who befriended my sister, and I. The literature review focused on communication between people, identities, different perspectives, and the events that create life stories. The discourse analysis consists of a monologue of emails from my sister to my mother, her résumé, and an online post to a foreign exchange website. Searching for My Sister seeks to show that the identities of people are simply stories; they are stories we constantly recreate about ourselves and others. Each time these stories are retold, depending on the audience or setting, they may change. My sister’s life was a mystery to me and I sought to find out exactly what happened in her life. I learned there is no exact answer. I can find out who she is by creating my tale of her. She lives today though her story and its possible retellings.

Categories

Social Sciences

Research Type

Thesis

Mentor Information

Dr. Mariaelena Bartesaghi

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Searching for My Sister

My thesis analyzes adopts a discursive approach to reconstruct and recover the life history and memory of my sister, who committed suicide at the age of 21. As opposed to looking for my sister in the pathologizing, hidden accounts of diagnostic categories, a discursive approach within communication allows me to look for her in what in visible and manifest in language. I transcribed three narratives describing my sister’s life and analyzed them in conjunction with literature and a textual analysis. The narratives are spoken transcriptions from my mother, a local chiropractor who befriended my sister, and I. The literature review focused on communication between people, identities, different perspectives, and the events that create life stories. The discourse analysis consists of a monologue of emails from my sister to my mother, her résumé, and an online post to a foreign exchange website. Searching for My Sister seeks to show that the identities of people are simply stories; they are stories we constantly recreate about ourselves and others. Each time these stories are retold, depending on the audience or setting, they may change. My sister’s life was a mystery to me and I sought to find out exactly what happened in her life. I learned there is no exact answer. I can find out who she is by creating my tale of her. She lives today though her story and its possible retellings.