This essay argues that family stories often occur as fragments and reflects on how these fragments of stories are integrated, intentionally or not, into family discourse and pieced together to form a coherent narrative. I consider how storied fragments influence the construction of individual and collective familial identities, presenting the following scenarios: (1) family members may agree on the nature of a story, but how it influences their identities may differ; (2) family members may construct different meanings of a story but act as if they share understandings to maintain family cohesion; and (3) family members may piece together fragments and create an inaccurate version of a story that influences their personal identities long after the inaccuracy is corrected. Ultimately, families and individuals are affected by fragmented stories, thus revealing the transformative potential of family storytelling in all its forms.
McGeough, Danielle Dick
"Family Stories: Fragments and Identity,"
Storytelling, Self, Society:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/storytelling/vol8/iss1/2