Methodological Reflections on Italian-Canadian Storytelling
Colussi-Arthur, Gabriella Silvia
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This dissertation considers existing methodological practices in the collection of Italian-Canadian immigrant family narratives and focuses on a number of immigrant family stories recounted by my Northern Italian, Friulian-born parent-informants as collected from my role as a trilingual daughter-as-researcher. After reflecting on aspects of qualitative methodology that deal with collecting narratives at large, I present a triangulated, interconnected model that I call Breadth, Depth, and Form, based on three foundational approaches: life history, narrative inquiry and oral history. Breadth contextualizes my informants across time and space; depth allows me to focus on my informants as individual and reflect of the narrative meaning for my informants; form allows me to recognize and document the authentic, original language(s) of the narratives themselves. Chapter One examines the foundational aspects of my methodology and introduces my triangulated approach with a series of methodological considerations; Chapter Two presents the field of Italian migration and ethnic studies most pertinent to my work; Chapter Three describes the scholarship on Friulian immigration to North America and provides a brief overview of the history of Friulian language and its place in the diaspora. Chapter Four explores my position as daughter-as-researcher (DAR) and provides detailed reflections on my role as insider; Chapter Five culminates with an analysis of my informants’ narratives based on content and form.