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Author(s): Nico, M.
Silva, M. G. V.
Caetano, A.
Date: 2023
Title: Secrets as storytelling: Family histories and interpersonal intimacy
Journal title: Sociological Perspectives
Volume: 66
Number: 6
Pages: 973 - 991
Reference: Nico, M., Silva, M. G. V., & Caetano, A. (2023). Secrets as storytelling: Family histories and interpersonal intimacy. Sociological Perspectives, 66(6), 973-991.
ISSN: 0731-1214
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1177/07311214231180563
Keywords: Family histories
Biographical interviews
Life calendar
Family trees
Abstract: Keeping and telling secrets are acts of intimacy. This article explores secret-telling-friendly methodologies, capable of encouraging individuals to share their life stories in their own terms, with particular episodes, emotional connections, protagonists, and also secrets. The openness of our research design played an important part in the identification of the role of secret-storytelling in the understanding of life. This was enhanced by methodological tools mobilized during the biographical interviews with individuals of families (the life calendar and the socio-genealogical tree). It testifies the importance of the research design, and method lato sensu, in the sociological analysis of secrets. Each secret connects to the person’s biography, social positioning, historical context, and generational anchor, contributing to understand more about wider social, gender, family, interpersonal, and normative values of given time-space coordinates. Secrets are narrative and emotional devices to build biographical narratives and chronologize life stories, bridging biography and society, exemplarily.
Peerreviewed: yes
Access type: Open Access
Appears in Collections:CIES-RI - Artigos em revistas científicas internacionais com arbitragem científica

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