chapter  4
20 Pages

The Autobiographical Narrative Interview: A Potential Arena of Emotional Remembering, Performance and Reflection

WithMaruška Svašek, Markieta Domecka

This chapter critically explores the autobiographical narrative method developed by German sociologist Fritz Schutze. Schutze’s biographical method, used in the analysis in this chapter, provides clearly defined instructions regarding the autobiographical storytelling process. This chapter focuses on self-narratives by two migrant women, conducted as part of a large research project on identity formation in Europe, who at the time of the interviews resided and worked in the United Kingdom. It discusses various approaches to biographical interviewing, situating Schutze’s approach in a wider methodological field. Before presenting the analysis, some of the method’s restrictions must be addressed. In Loes’s story, the urge to work through difficult issues came out in three major narrative themes that wove through her two-hour account. The analysis of Loes’s self-narrative makes clear that ‘Europe’ is a changing territorial space of global reach that, as part and outcome of colonial processes, has been discursively constructed as a ‘white zone’.