This project seeks to trace how Latin American migrants residing in Oslo use group categories for self- and other-identification for the negotiation and construction of identities in interaction. Identity construction is an essential process for migration and resettlement, as the relocation of the self in a new context requires a constant process of redefinition of the self in relation to the new environment and community.I consider group categorization labels such as "foreigner," "Norwegian," etc., to function as discourse strategies by which participants are able to index social relations and situations that exceed the actual interactional situation of the interview, following De Fina‘s (2003; 2006) analytical model of identity construction in interaction. Categories also function as resources for stance-taking (Jaffe 2009), by which the participants position themselves in relation to the implicit meanings of the categories, thus negotiating and constructing individual identities, which are non-reducible to single categorization labels. The goals of this thesis are to study how categorization functions as an identity construction strategy in narratives of personal experience, and to trace the schematic meanings of category labels that are implicit in the narrative sequences that thus function as a resource for the interactional construction of situated individual identities.In order to achieve these goals, I use a discourse analytic approach to categorization in narrative that can account for the functioning of categorization in the narratives and for socially shared, presupposed meanings of categories. I do a qualitative analysis of the narratives elicited in a focus group interview with three highly educated Spanish speaking immigrants from three different countries in Latin America.
Keywords: Categorization, identity construction, migration, Linguistics, Interactional Sociolinguistics, MCD, Narrative Analysis, Latin America, Spanish, Oslo