This article is concerned with identity construction in fieldwork-related travel stories told by Finnish biologists in their popular science books. Drawing on Michael Bamberg’s Positioning Theory and its three-level analytic approach, the article examines how scientists build their public image by positioning themselves in relation to other travelers in the story world (e.g. tourists and backpackers), the projected lay audience, and the subject positions provided by societal discourses. The findings show i) how the tellers distinguish themselves from others by highlighting their “scientist’s gaze”, i.e. their ability to make elaborate observations unavailable for the untrained eye; ii) how they position themselves as “authentic” travelers by highlighting the dangers and discomforts encountered – and endured – during the journeys; iii) how they take a self-reflexive stance toward their past selves and position their current selves as e.g. well-travelled professionals. As Bamberg’s model was originally developed for analysis of conversational storytelling, the article also discusses the limits of the model’s applicability as a text analytic tool.
|Translated title of the contribution||Positioning and identity construction in popular science travel narratives by Finnish biologists|
|Journal||Kirjallisuudentutkimuksen Aikakauslehti Avain|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Dec 2019|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
Fields of Science
- 6122 Literature studies