Curated Stories

Curated Stories : The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling

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Storytelling has proliferated today, from TED Talks and Humans of New York to a plethora of story-coaching agencies and consultants. These narratives are typically heartbreaking accounts of poverty, mistreatment, and struggle that often move us deeply. But what do they move us to? And what are the stakes in the crafting and use of storytelling?

In Curated Stories, Sujatha Fernandes considers the rise of storytelling alongside the broader shift to neoliberal, free-market economies to argue that stories have been reconfigured to promote entrepreneurial self-making and restructured as easily digestible soundbites mobilized toward utilitarian ends. Fernandes roams the globe and returns with stories from the Afghan Women's Writing Project, the domestic workers movement and the undocumented student Dreamer movement in the United
States, and the Mision Cultura project in Venezuela to show how the conditions under which the stories are told, the tropes through which they are narrated, and the ways in which they are responded to may actually disguise the deeper contexts of global inequality. Curated stories shift the focus away from
structural problems and defuse the confrontational politics of social movements.

Not just a critical examination of contemporary use of narrative and its wider impact on our collective understanding of pressing social issues, Curated Stories also explores how storytelling might be reclaimed to allow for the complexity of experience to be expressed in pursuit of transformative social change.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 232 pages
  • 168 x 234 x 13mm | 338g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0190618051
  • 9780190618056
  • 762,558

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Curated Storytelling
Chapter 2: Charting the Storytelling Turn
Chapter 3: Stories and Statecraft: Why Counting on Apathy Might Not Be Enough
Chapter 4: Out of the Home, Into the House: How Storytelling at the Legislature Can Narrow Movement Goals
Chapter 5: Sticking to the Script: The Battle Over Representations
Chapter 6: Rumbas in the Barrio: Personal Lives in a Collectivist Project
Epilogue: New Movements, New Stories?
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Review quote

Readers will find an engaging and insightful exploration that is highly suggestive of the impact that neoliberalism has on social movement claims making and the subversive impact that making claims in these ways can have for social movements, their members, and their constituents. * Timothy B. Gongaware, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, American Journal of Sociology *
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About Sujatha Fernandes

Sujatha Fernandes is Professor of Political Economy and Sociology at the University of Sydney. She was previously a Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York. A former member of the Princeton Society of Fellows, she is the author of Cuba Represent!, Who Can Stop the Drums?, and Close to the Edge. She has written for The New York Times, The Nation, and Dissent, among other publications.
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