Transtextual Narratives about the European Union. A qualitative research on structuring, sense-making constructions of reality from a linguistic perspective

Abstract

Narratives are never finished products, but constantly evolving linguistic constructs. Actors use them to position themselves and develop the narratives further in the process. In this respect, narratives are to be understood as specifically interpreted constructions of reality that lie between the level of text and discourse. The aim of this paper is to analyze such narratives about the European Union in three political speeches by the presidents of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Ursula von der Leyen. To this end, narrative is methodically analyzed using the narrative constituents 'chronotope', 'actors', 'plot development/emplotment' and 'attitude'. These narrative constituents are in turn divided into sub-constituents that can be analyzed intratextually. The analysis of transtextual narratives offers the possibility of examining constructed sequences of actions that are contextualized in an actor-specific way. In the course of the argumentation of policies or political goals, for example, legitimization strategies can be traced. The constitution of functional actor constellations as well as of spatio-temporal distinct contexts can justify projects and motivate actions. The qualitative-explorative approach of this paper is intended to promote a better understanding of transtextual narratives and thus of a form of discursively constructed realities

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