FINDING METACULTURE IN NARRATIVE: THE CASE OF DIASPORIC JAPANESE IN THE UNITED STATES
I am concerned with finding a widely circulating ideology in life story narratives told to me by three diasporic Japanese in the United States. By drawing on discourse analytic perspectives, I analyse audio-recorded interview data as ‘cultural objects’ and extract participants’ ‘ideology’ from the ‘objects’. In so doing, I attempt to find widely circulating and relatively enduring values in the discourses of these narratives. By analytically focusing on contextually contingent aspects of language use, I make explicit the pattern of the ‘success story line’. These findings are then compared with another study on autobiographical narrative. While qualifying the generalisability of the findings, I argue that my own study proposes a hypothesis that deserves further investigation in providing a concrete piece of evidence against the idea of ‘postmodern fragmented subjects’ (Jameson 1984).