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The meaning of a photograph depends on the story we tell about it. In the case of portraits, these narrative frames shape the self we impute to the sitter. The interiority of the portrait subject, the inner character we imagine is revealed in the photograph, is a result of what we know about photographic portraits, about the sitter, about the photographer, and about the context in which the image was made. Likewise in everyday life, the selves we impute to others are inflected by similar processes of narrative framing. Who we are known to be depends not only on self-presentations but on the stories within which those self-presentations are placed.
Symbolic Interaction © 2009 Wiley