Autobiographical Narrative on Orphanhood: Key Categories and Structures

The analysis of interviews with young people who have orphan experience reveals a special type of narrative strategy of presenting their lives — biography as overcoming. The orphanhood is represented through implicit narrative categories. The main is “lack of agency”, which appears as the inability to make independent decisions, lack of understanding, lack or incompleteness of ownership rights and disposition of personal property, etc. Also, the narratives show the category of “homelessness” as well as an extremely complex category of “kinship”. Overcoming can be understood as the acquisition of agency through vocational education, getting your own home, “reconciliation” (often imaginary) with blood parents. Due to the age and social situation of the respondents, the beginning of professional activity partly determines the choice of the identified narrative strategy.

For citation: Galushina N.S. Autobiographical Narrative on Orphanhood: Key Categories and Structures. St. Petersburg Sociology Today. 2019. N. 11. P. 144-163. DOI:10.25990/socinstras.pss-11.cht7-eb18

  • Bahmann-Medik D. Kul’turnye povoroty. Novye orientiry v naukah o kul’ture [Cultural turns. New landmarks in the cultural Sciences]. Moscow, New literary review, 2017, 504 p. (In Russian)
  • Bez roditeley: sirotstvo kak sotsiokul’turnoe yavlenie [Without parents: orphanhood as a sociocultural phenomenon]. Moscow, RGGU, 2019 (Is being published) (In Russian)
  • Burd’e P. Biograficheskaya illyuziya [Biographical illusion]. Inter, 2002, no. 1, pp. 75-83. (In Russian)
  • Chamberlayne P., Bornat J., Wengraf T. The turn to biographical methods in social science comparative issues and examples. London, New York, 2000, 368 p.
  • Ostrovskaya Е. A. Biograficheskiy narrativ v izuchenii religioznosti [Biographical narrative in the study of religiosity]. Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 18. Sotsiologiya i politologiya [Bulletin of Moscow University. Series 18. Sociology and political science], 2016, no. 4, pp. 65-80. (In Russian)
  • Rogozin D. M. Biograficheskiy metod: obzor literatury [Biographical method: literature review]. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological studies], 2015, no. 10, pp. 120-129. (In Russian)
  • Rozhdestvenskaya Е. Yu. Biograficheskiy metod v sotsiologii [Biographical method in sociology]. Moscow, Publishing House of the Higher School of Economics, 2012, 381 p. (In Russian)
  • Rustin M. Razmyshleniya po povodu povorota k biografiyam v sotsial’nyh naukah [Reflections on the Turn to Biographies in the Social Sciences]. Inter, 2002, no. 1, pp. 7-24. (In Russian)
  • Sushko N. G. Skrytoe sotsial’noe sirotstvo kak sotsial’no-psihologicheskiy fenomen [Biographical turn in migration studies: new opportunities and limitations]. Vestnik TOGU [Bulletin of Pacific national university], 2009, no. 2 (13), pp. 269-276. (In Russian)
  • Sushko P. Е. Biograficheskiy povorot v migratsionnyh issledovaniyah: novye vozmozhnosti i ogranicheniya [Biographical turn in migration studies: new opportunities and limitations]. Materialy VI mezhdunarodnoy sotsiologicheskoy Grushinskoy konferentsii “Zhizn’ issledovaniyaposle issledovaniya: kak sdelat’ rezul’taty ponyatnymi i poleznymi”, 16—17 marta 2016 g. [Proceedings of the VI International Sociological Grushinsky Conference “Life after Research: How to make the results understandable and useful”, March 16-17, 2016]. Resp. Ed. A. V. Kuleshova. Moscow, VTslOM JSC, 2016, pp. 536-539. (In Russian)
  • Zdravomyslova Е., Temkina A. Analiz narrativnogo interv’yu: rekonstruktsiya biograficheskoy raboty [Analysis of narrative interview: reconstruction of biographical work]. Rossiyskiy gendernyy poryadok: sotsiologicheskiy podhod [Russian gender order: a sociological approach]. Saint Petersburg, Publishing House of the European University at St. Petersburg, 2007, pp. 227-249. (In Russian)