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Psicologia & Sociedade

versão impressa ISSN 0102-7182versão On-line ISSN 1807-0310


BRANDAO, Thaís Oliveira  e  GERMANDO, Idilva Maria Pires. Experience, memory and suffering of women in autobiography narratives. Psicol. Soc. [online]. 2009, vol.21, n.1, pp.5-15. ISSN 0102-7182.

This paper discusses the autobiographical narratives of three women of a poor community in the outskirts of Fortaleza (Ceará, Brazil). The main purpose is to understand the way the informants create meaning about themselves by connecting the episodes of their lives into a plot. The stories are analyzed in their referential ("what" they tell), textual ("how" they tell) and performative (what they "do" when they tell stories to a listener) elements. As to the referential dimension, they convey a trajectory of continuous and precocious suffering associated to social class (poverty and unstable jobs), gender (female vulnerability especially in marital relationship) and generational issues (the hardship of educating children in their milieu). Textually the stories particularly explore regressive form (Gergen & Gergen, 1986). In terms of performance the informants make a therapeutic use of the interview, asking for help and rhetorically claiming a positive image of themselves derived from a "frail-strong" polarity.

Palavras-chave : autobiographies; life stories of women; social vulnerability; narrative psychology.

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