Narrative storytelling and anger in crisis communication

Clementson, D. E., & Xie, T. (Grady PhD student) (2020, Nov.). Narrative storytelling and anger in crisis communication. Paper to be presented at the 106th National Communication Association conference, Public Relations division, Indianapolis, IN.

Abstract: This paper reports a test and extension of the model posited by Heath’s (2004) theory of crisis response narratives, in which the public manifests identification with a spokesperson who tells ethical narratives rather than spinning stories. The effect is hypothesized as being mediated through the public perceiving trustworthiness of, and positive attitudes toward, the spokesperson. An experiment is reported (N = 262) with a televised news interview featuring a spokesperson representing a scandalized company, in which the messaging varies in terms of narratives. The study finds support for the theoretical model as originally specified. In addition, the model is extended to serial and parallel multiple mediation, finding that the effect is processed through the public’s anger.

The Dreams of Nations: An Ethno-Story

Abstract: This post-colonial “Ethno-story” narrative is a contribution to new modes of narrative storytelling within the tradition of auto-ethnography, identity politics and subaltern studies.  Written as an exemplar, it weaves through the unwilled constructs of two protagonists, an Indian Muslim man and a (Caucasian) American woman—working / living at the intersection of media, self and nation. It explores the inner dynamics of personhood through intersecting narratives of the self with those of mass-mediated images and realities in an age of terrorism and ethno-religious conflict.