Journal of sociolinguistics vol:13 issue:2 pages:169-194
This article involves a study of the narrative of a Second World War Resistance member by means of an interview in which the interviewer explicitly inserts the historical context by selecting the topics for discussion and asking critical questions. The interview deals with three periods: the Wartime period; the First Wave of Reprisals; and the Second Wave of Reprisals. The analyses show that the interviewee's first and second-level positionings shift along with changes in historical period and that they mirror the general historical image of the Resistance. These different positionings are highly consistent in themselves and this consistency is also present on the third level of positioning, because of the interviewee's fairly muted style of narrating, by which blatant inconsistencies are avoided and a general, 'good' identity is constructed. The article also demonstrates that the interview style adds another, important dimension to the analysis of identities in life stories.