Narrated Communities

Individual Life Stories and Collective Figures of Thought

Ulf Palmenfelt

The Kalevala Society Folklore
Fellows’ Communications 324
Helsinki 2022
ISBN 978-952-9534-03-6
Available at the Tiedekirja bookstore, 32 €

Narrated Communities explores accounts of memories and their relationships to narrating and life stories. It brings into focus prominent elements belonging to collective traditions, elements that become points of reference when presenting personal memories, and explores how people situate their views in relation to these. Dialogue is a key concept, not only for considering the co-production of narration and reproduction of dialogue, but also for exploring how people create dialogues within a monologue, establishing alternative positions or views, as between the “I” of the present and the “I” of the past. The concern for the relationship between individual and collective traditions leads into an examination of the smallest collectives, such as two individuals with shared memories, alongside types of experiences that can be considered universal. The work reveals how elements of worldview manifest as frames of reference for positioning, which makes them foundational to the narrative construction of communities as the mooring posts of collective value systems.


Read Online: Foreword

Read Online: Introduction

The material



Life stories





The smallest collectives

Universal human experiences

Collective figures of thought



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