Navigating Identity Dilemmas in Oral Narratives by Women with Turner Syndrome

Author Information

Kamila Ciepiela,
University of Lodz, Poland

DOI: 10.47298/comela22.9-2
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in the Mediterranean and Europe 2022


Turner syndrome (TS) is a genetic disorder that affects only females. Its main symptoms are a short stature and gonadal dysgenesis. Such genetically determined physical characteristics impact the positioning of TS women in discourses of femininity, health, and illness, as well as in social relationships.

This study aims to uncover and explore the social linguistic identities of women with this condition. The analysis draws on premises of ‘the narrative practice’ framework developed by Michael Bamberg (1997, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2020), who claims that in interaction, narrative is not only used to convey meaning, but also to construct the identities of the interlocutors. The linguistic analysis of narratives delivered by Polish women with TS in semi-structured interviews should reveal the extent to which the interviewees enact the creation of or become their identities, the extent to which they align with or distance from others, and the extent to which their identities change or remain constant over the years of hormonal therapy. I draw on functionalism to discuss these narratives, in which their formal structure and content are integrally associated with their use.

Keywords: Identity, narratives, Turner syndrome, Poland, linguistic anthropology.


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