How I Remember My Mother's Story: A Cross-National Investigation of Vicarious Family Stories in Turkey and New Zealand


Bakir-Demir T., Reese E., ŞAHİN ACAR B., Taumoepeau M.

JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/00220221221132833
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, Applied Science & Technology Source, CINAHL, Communication Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, Index Islamicus, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Keywords: vicarious family stories, national groups, self-construals, generations, ADOLESCENTS INTERGENERATIONAL NARRATIVES, SELF-CONSTRUALS, CULTURE, MEMORY, MODEL, LIFE, ADULTS, INDIVIDUALISM, CONNECTEDNESS, COLLECTIVISM
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Stories that have not been personally experienced by children and are only told by their parents are called vicarious family stories. An emerging body of literature has shown that vicarious family stories are an important part of children's narrative ecology. However, to date, only two studies from the same cross-cultural project have examined the role of culture in vicarious family stories. The aims of this study were to examine vicarious mother stories in Turkey and New Zealand (NZ) and to investigate individual variations in national groups with regard to the internalization of cultural orientations (i.e., self-construals). There were 108 Turkish and 79 NZ women in this study. We found that Turkish women's stories were more thematically coherent and included more social interactions and other-related words than NZ women's. When reporting reasons for why they thought family members told stories, didactic purposes and expressing emotions were more common reasons for Turkish women, whereas sharing family history and entertainment were more common reasons for NZ women. However, Turkish and NZ women's vicarious stories were similar in terms of identity connections and affective tone. Unexpectedly, we did not find a significant role of individuals' self-construals in the link between national groups and vicarious stories. This study contributes to the growing area of research on family narratives by showing the commonalities and differences in the construction of vicarious stories across national groups.