Title

After asylum: Hermeneutic Composability in Former Refugee Narratives

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2018

Keywords

critical discourse analysis, former refugee, narrative, hermeneutic composability, genre, asylum, intertextual gap, entextualization, Australia

Abstract

In this study I examine a corpus of former refugee narratives published by the nonprofit Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) on their website in 2011. In order to investigate the relationship between the constituent parts and the narrative as a whole, I use critical discourse analysis to examine the strategic use of person, quantified temporal phrases, broader thematic elements, and the constitution of “former refugee narrative” as a genre. I conclude that the RCOA dominates temporality and maintains authority over the narratives through specifically applied quantification yet captures the necessary subjective and emotional material of the refugee experience to achieve the authenticity the co-narratives need to be well-received by the public. Thus, by manipulating hermeneutic composability, the RCOA evidences an objective, authoritative portrayal yet captures a subjective experience worth telling, and by manipulating intertextual gaps they appeal to the Australian nationalism implicit in the contemporary political climate.

Publication Title

Narrative Inquiry

Volume

28

Issue

1

First Page

30

Last Page

55

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