Paradigmatic Narratives

Charlotte Linde

in Working the Past

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780195140286
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199871247 | DOI:
Paradigmatic Narratives

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This chapter considers stories about ordinary members of the institution which present the story as an example to be followed, and as one piece of a life course which should be emulated. These are defined as “paradigmatic narratives:” exemplary narratives of Everyman. The paradigmatic narrative of the insurance company consists of stories which show instances of a successful career, and how it was achieved by specific, real-life agents. These stories are intended as models of ordinary success, and as a promise that such success can be accomplished by any member of the institution. This chapter discusses the paradigmatic narrative at MidWest, and recent changes in the career structure which may change not only the details of the paradigmatic narrative, but even the existence of a predictable life course which can be presented as a reliable prediction of careers that are possible for new members.

Keywords: paradigmatic narrative; career ladder; exemplary narrative; success story; ordinary success; postmodern self

Chapter.  14796 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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