Coaxing an intimate public: life narrative in digital storytelling

Anna Poletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This article contributes to current scholarship on the practice of digital storytelling by examining how Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson's (2001) concept of coaxed life narrative can contribute to an analysis of the role of digital storytelling in diversifying the voices in the public sphere and subsequent impact on dynamics of media power and democracy. After situating digital storytelling as an example of coaxed life narrative, I use Lauren Berlant's theory of the intimate public to examine digital storytelling as a particular mode of autobiographical storytelling, focused on affective connection with the audience, which contributes to the rising prevalence of intimacy and affect as fundamental to the experience and construction of contemporary citizenship (1997, 1998, 2008). The article concludes by considering the efficacy of digital storytelling to articulate the relationships between personal experiences of structural social and political inequalities, given its narrative emphasis on closure, affect and universality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalContinuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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