Becoming a Non-Other. Emigrant Narratives as an Integration Strategy

Diana Vargolomova

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

Abstract: Constructing a reality out of language has been a recurrent experience of humanity since the first creative usage of language. When a narrative practice is used as a self-reflection and self-construction in a non-fiction manner, the result is blending real-world events, situations, and places with a subjective worldview, and consequentially redefining one’s perception of these events, situations, and places (see for example Ricoeur 2009, Barton 2010, Linde 1993). It is interesting how telling a story of the self is used to reduce the subjective perception of otherness in conditions of recent immigration, a practice very well observed in Italian emigrant letters at the beginning of the XX s. (Franzina 1994). A contemporary case of such a practice are the emigrants’ online diaries in the form of blogs, Instagram stories, Facebook pages. Here we propose an example of how multimodal online narratives are used as a rite of passage from a condition of a subjective perception of otherness to a situation of becoming a less- other or even a non-other. For this ongoing research three Italian bloggers, living in the United States, are followed for 10 years in their experience of writing and videoblogging through blog platforms, Instagram, and Facebook.

Keywords: emigration, multimodality, digital narratives, blogs, egodocuments, identity.

Rhetoric and Communications Journal, issue 50, January 2022

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