Intimacy, identity and relationship in the accounts of Chinese immigrants to Canada: the contribution of narrative analysis
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In this paper we use narrative analysis to consider how the discursive resources that come with living 'in between' countries and cultures unfold in personal stories. We do this by presenting a close analysis of two transcripts drawn from a study about the vulnerability to HIV faced by Chinese immigrants to Canada. Our goal is to illustrate the application of narrative analysis and highlight the contributions it can make to conceptualising how transnationalism becomes consequential in accounts of intimate life. In narrative terms, transnationalism lends each life situation dual or multiple interpretive frameworks. Migrants from China to Canada situate their personal stories in relation to social and cultural norms and features of both nations. Yet, as our analysis makes apparent, 'Canada' and 'China' do not carry singular or consistent meanings in migrants' stories. Attention to the role of stories in self-making allows us to better understand why transnational contexts appear as they do in narrative accounts, and responds to calls for more accurate mappings of the interface between transnationalism and the subject. Attention to how stories are 'put together' shows that transnational discursive resources are assembled in ways that bolster, and also undermine, entitlements to safe and equitable intimate relationships.
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