Maria José Coracini Unicamp – IEL/DLA - CNPq Brazil Narrating Homeless Life in a Brazilian Context: ethics and methodology GOAL AND THEORETICAL ISSUES to present partial results of an analysis of the discourse of thirty Brazilian homeless people, paying attention to the ways of (self)-narration life stories. discursive-deconstructivist perspective, based on Foucault’s notions of power and discursive formation; on the freudo-lacanian concept of subjectivity and on the derridean critical thought, named deconstruction. INTERPRETATION • • According to Foucault (1976), interpretation is violence to the text, because it transforms it, which will never be equal to the original version. Derrida on Plato's Pharmacy points out that each reading (interpretation) is a decision (a cision), a cut on the text. But the transformation is uncounscious. INTERVIEWS structured: several question that direct the respondent to answer in a timely manner; there is no way for interviewees to avoid the question semi-structured (informal interviews): the questions are open and allow the interviewee to take a position, to address other matters that interests him or her, at that moment. BOURDIEU (2006, P. 185) Producing a life story, seeing life as a story, that is as a coherent account of a sequence of events with a meaning and direction is perhaps to deal with a rhetorical illusion, a common representation of existence which has always been reinforced by literary tradition. a story is constructed in a chronological and a logical sequence - an origin (beginning and source), reason of being, the cause, an end. LEVI (2006, P. 169) story life depends on the memory; memory is not linear nor objective; it may be contraditory: doubts, incertitudes - hesitations, stops, sighs, tears. Memory is fragmentary. participants construct past from the present (inventing or interpretating the past from the changes of the present). LIFE STORY allows to catch some formations of the unconscious (FREUD, 1915), as lapses, slips, gaps, stammerings, in sum the equivocity of the language, everything from the language in use. Lang (1996): oral testimonies as part of a life story can provide participants with an opportunity to reflect on their life, about their life path, even before his speech. And that is very important! AN EXPERIENCE WITH HOMELESS PEOPLE Informal statement: “Tell me about your life on the street, your own experiences”. Interventions of the interviewer; Look and listen. The interviewer is silent. Lacan (1973/1998: speaking and being heard are a means through which to become a subject. SILENT VOICE a voice that sounds like a look; look and listening mean that the homeless person is recognized as a subject, as someone who deserves to have a place in society. There is a tension between voice and effect of meaning. “whatever is said is forgotten behind what somebody says in what you hear”. (LACAN, 1998, p. 5). REACTIONS “I have never thought about that before”; “Thank you for the opportunity”; It is another thing to speak to someone who knows. But what the researcher or the interviewer knows? This knowledge is supposed – TRANSFERENCE (in lacanian terms). If there is tranference there is subject. REACTIONS (CONT.) At the beginning: homeless person is very anxious and reticent, but little by little they take it easy, they seem relieved, speaking more and more, using more frequently the first person (I, me, my etc.); at the start, they speak loudly and prefer to use the third person as if they were speaking about someone else in the same situation; at the end, they speak slowly and in a low voice. SOME RESULTS 1) enunciation: indeterminant features 2) organization of telling a self-(hi)story: Work, family, children, husband, mother, sickness; House; family: wife, children alcoholic and drugs addition; mother’s life, his infancy (hard), violence in streets; orange juice, sickness, infancy, parents, street, other fellow etc. Family, religion, help, objects, alcohol... A breakdown strategy: terrible drugs” ; “that is horrible; for the police they are nothing, if they were rich they would respect them, but they are homeless, they don’t deserve any kind of respect”. SOME RESULTS Representations of the other, the passers-by: “they cross the street, and scream: tramp, useless, dirty people”. “one day when I got up I saw a fellow burning on a bed made of cardboard; someone had thrown gasolineset fire and fled. Poor man!” Chronological marks: last year, now, ... Modal verbs and modalities: “it seems”, I/you know, in my opinion”, “I think”... 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