Trauma-Narrative Analysis at the Level of Sociopragmatic Schemata

  • Maria Grazia Guido


This chapter enquires into the role of Western experts’ and non-Western migrants’ respective sociopragmatic schemata which, by coming into contact in the course of unequal encounters within different specialized contexts, can induce, on the one hand, experts to misinterpret migrants’ trauma narratives, and, on the other, migrants to find experts’ specialized discourses inaccessible and unacceptable, thus causing communication failure despite the fact that both groups use English as a ‘lingua franca’. Case-study data show that each sociopragmatic schema refers to each participant’s linguacultural conditions of discourse production and interpretation, which engage indexically with the respective participant’s socio-cultural and psychological reality that may not be experientially accessible to the other participants in the interaction. Miscommunication is evident from the case-study analysis dealing with the participants’ conflicting sociopragmatic schemata regarding the ‘maternity’ construct in trauma-induced medical contexts; factual versus counterfactual religious constructs in ‘first-assistance’ encounters of the Catholic clergy with trauma-affected African migrants; and Utopian versus Dystopian schemata that determine the framing and the (mis)interpreting of migrants’ trauma narratives in the context of Responsible Tourism. The chapter concludes with the illustration of a cultural project in Responsible Tourism involving both tourists and migrants in ethnopoetic embodiments of ancient and modern sea voyage trauma narratives so as to discover the common archetypal roots as sea voyagers.


Sociopragmatic schemata Schema-biased presupposition Conflicting ‘maternity’ schemata Counterfactual logic in Western religious discourse Utopian versus Dystopian schemata Responsible Tourism Ethnopoetic embodiment of sea voyage trauma narratives 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Grazia Guido
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SalentoLecceItaly

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