Two styles of narrative construction and their linguistic and educational implications

James Paul Gee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The research on which this paper is based was done in collaboration with a project at the Harvard University School of Education directed by Courtney Cazden and Sarah Michaels. The stories by the young black girl discussed in this paper were collected by Charles Haynes from Harvard University as part of the project. The story by the young white girl was collected by Dennie Wolf of Project Zero at Harvard as part of her own research. All of the above helped with the ideas in this paper, though they may not agree with them all. Gee (1985, 1986a) contains linguistic analyses of the same black child's stories 4 years earlier than those treated here, and readers may want to compare the present analysis to the earlier ones to gain a developmental perspective on the material. The line of research in this paper and the earlier ones took root from the “sharing time” literature (Cazden, 1988; Cazden, Michaels, & Tabors, 1985; Collins, 1985; Michaels, 1981, 1985; Michaels & Cazden, 1986; Michaels & Collins, 1984; Michaels & Cook-Gumperz, 1979; Michaels & Foster, 1985). My approach to narrative analysis has been influenced greatly by the work of Dell Hymes (1977, 1980, 1981, 1982).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-307
Number of pages21
JournalDiscourse Processes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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