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Defining the Discographic SelfDesert Island Discs in Context$
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Julie Brown, Nicholas Cook, and Stephen Cottrell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266175

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266175.001.0001

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Public and narrative selves in Desert Island Discs

Public and narrative selves in Desert Island Discs

(p.215) 11 Public and narrative selves in Desert Island Discs
Defining the Discographic Self

Tia Denora

, Julie Brown, Nicholas Cook, Stephen Cottrell
British Academy

The Desert Island Discs interview—ostensibly a private chat—is an entertainment format in which public figures are on public display and able to display themselves as types of public selves through discussion of ‘private’ musical tastes, experiences, values, and connections to others. This chapter examines castaways’ narratives in aggregate form, as patterned practices of display. Castaway narratives reveal six thematic ways of accounting for their musical choices: (1) situation of listening, (2) container for extra-musical matters, (3) link to a person or people, (4) resource for care of self, (5) castaway just loves the work, and (6) described in terms of music pedagogy. Comparing individual castaway narratives with this more general set of narrative patterns, and controlling for occupational group, and within that, gender, offers new, and otherwise undisclosed, information about individual castaways and their public presentation of self.

Keywords:   narrative, presentation of self, contrast structure, gender, occupation, interview society

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