Narrative inquiry

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The original animated presentation: http://portal.sliderocket.com/ARWTE/Narrative-Inquiry

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  • 1. An Inquiry on Narrative Inquiry by Jeannette Novakovich All this happened, more or less
  • 2. The stories we tell about ourselves and how we conduct our lives — is who we are (Bamberg, 2012, p.204)
  • 3. Finding the roots of the human condition through narrative inquiry In sum, what the claims to narrative exceptionalism have in common is the attempt to endow the person with something like a ―narrative essence‖ — something that anchors narrative ‗deep‘ in the existence of the person, and ties the person and his/her existence to narrative as the roots of the human condition. Michael Bamberg, 2012, p.207
  • 4. We shape reality through the stories we tell Narrative research has deep roots leading back to the late 19th century and it was a very significant way to explain the truth in clinical psychology and sociology as late as WWII. In the 1980's the narrative returned as a cognitive scheme. Narratives have enormous powers to shape reality. (p. 208) Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224.
  • 5. In the past, the story was the evidence. Narrative inquiry has been influenced by philosophers, anthropologists, and psychotherapists such as Dewey, Johnson, Geertz, Bateson, Czarniawska, Coles, and Polkinghorne (Clandinin and Connolly 2001). Freud, reflection, self
  • 6. Transformative experiences and the narrative form The theoretical underpinning of narrative inquiry is the belief that ‗telling a story about oneself involves telling a story about choice and action, which have integrally moral and ethical dimensions‘ (Rice and Ezzy 1999: 126) (Cited from Hunter, 2010, p. 44)
  • 7. Video was not exported from SlideRocket Killing me softly with his song... The aim of narrative inquiry is therefore not to find one generalizable truth but to ‗sing up many truths/narratives‘ (Byrne-Armstrong 2001: 112). The process of telling the narrative is believed to have the potential to transform the participant‘s experiences. (Cited from Hunter, 2010, p. 44)
  • 8. What is narrative research? Narrative research is grounded in interpretive hermeneutics and phenomenology; narrative research covers a large and diverse range of approaches, the result of a rapid expansion of the area of inquiry over the past dozen years (Mishler 1999, xv).
  • 9. The nature and practice of interpretation of written, verbal and nonverbal communication. Origin of its meaning: A divine message must be received with implicit uncertainty regarding its truth. This ambiguity is an irrationality; it is a sort of madness that is inflicted upon the receiver of the message. Only one who possesses a rational method of interpretation (i.e., a hermeneutic) could determine the truth or falsity of the message (wikipedia :) ) Illuminating hermeneutics
  • 10. How do we determine the truth or falsity of a message?
  • 11. The goal of qualitative phenomenological research is to describe the "lived experience" of an event. Living phenomenologically
  • 12. What are narratives? Narratives are about people, who act in space and time, typically across a sequence of events. The narrative form (structure) is said to hold the content together (what the story is about — its plot) and sequentially arrange the story units (orientation, complication, resolution, closure) into a more or less coherent whole (cf. Bamberg, 2012, p. 203).
  • 13. Narrative is the primary way that humans make meaning Hendry, P.M. (2010) Narrative as Inquiry. The Journal of Educational Research, 103: 72-80.
  • 14. Narrative performance as research
  • 15. Through the Looking Glass Scene II—Doubling Back Through Wonderland Alice: Why tell our story? (With passion, perhaps a bit defensively) We have come to know academic illusions—illusions that take on a personality of their own as constrainers, dictators, and oppressors. Ecila: Why tell our story? We have journeyed in, through, and around a phenomenon we now call academic adolescence. Alice: Academic adolescence maintains the status quo and stifles identities; (louder and with more force) it sustains dysfunctional academic structures. McMillan, S. & Price M. (2009). Through the looking glass: Our autoethnographic journey through research mind-fields. Qualitative Inquiry. 15: 140-148.
  • 16. Through the Looking Glass White Queen (in a rushed, urgent whisper): They didn‘t follow the formula! We all know the formula. Venerate the APA manual. Be professional! Keep your cool; follow our— um—plans. That‘s what being professional means: You accept what we say; we all remain self-regulated. We don‘t do nasty or unpleasant in public. We arrange for others to do that. In spite of the shaking ground and shifting shadows of our work environment, there were some realities regarding academic territorialism of which we were quite sure. One way to limit notions of who should teach research classes is to limit perceptions of what constitutes legitimate research (p. 145) McMillan, S. & Price M. (2009). Through the looking glass: Our autoethnographic journey through research mind-fields. Qualitative Inquiry. 15: 140-148.
  • 17. Through the Looking Glass Narrative performances not only provide sites to represent and to deconstruct diverse and ever-changing experiences of identities formation, but they are also potential spaces for democratic meaning making (p. 145) McMillan, S. & Price M. (2009). Through the looking glass: Our autoethnographic journey through research mind-fields. Qualitative Inquiry. 15: 140-148.
  • 18. It's difficult to distinguish the phenomena from the methodology
  • 19. What is narrative? Narrative as inquiry is not a method, but rather a process of meaning making that encompasses what I suggest are three major spheres of inquiry: the scientific (physical), the symbolic (human experience), and the sacred (metaphysical) (p. 73). Hendry, P.M. (2010) Narrative as Inquiry. The Journal of Educational Research, 103: 72-80.
  • 20. What is inquiry? At the heart of inquiry is the asking of questions. Inquiry begins with doubt. As a mode of inquiry, narrative ―tells us about something unexpected‖ (Bruner, 1996, p. 121). Cultivating and generating questions requires exchanges across the boundaries that now separate scholars when research is constructed as dichotomous, either or or, qualitative or quantitative, scientific or humanistic, or positivist or interpretive. These distinctions contribute to producing a truth effect that science is real knowledge and that narrative is mere interpretation and thus not real (p. 73). The threat to science, to inquiry, and, ultimately, to education is to elevate one and only one way of knowing the world (p. 74). Hendry, P.M. (2010) Narrative as Inquiry. The Journal of Educational Research, 103: 72-80.
  • 21. Narrative as three modes of inquiry Hendry, P.M. (2010) Narrative as Inquiry. The Journal of Educational Research, 103: 72-80.
  • 22. What is sacred knowing?
  • 23. SACRED The sacred addresses those questions that are beyond reason. It is the realm of the unknowable. Inquiry in this realm is not directed toward representing the world, but rather toward understanding matters of existence and larger questions of meaning (p. 75). However, I suggest that sacred narratives ... have not only the power to question that which is unknowable but also have the power to interrogate and critique that which is not humane or just by holding us accountable to our humanity (p. 75). As educators and researchers, the goal of sacred narratives is to materialize the humanity of our encounters with others (p. 76) Hendry, P.M. (2010) Narrative as Inquiry. The Journal of Educational Research, 103: 72-80.
  • 24. What is symbolic knowing?
  • 25. SYMBOLIC Symbolic inquiry: Symbols that seek to re-present human experience are encoded as language (letters), mathematics (numbers), music (notes), space (architecture), and art (form). Symbols do not represent lived experience, but rather they interpret experience. In other words, there is no correspondence between reality and the symbol (p. 76). A story can be true to life without being true of life (p.76). Hendry, P.M. (2010) Narrative as Inquiry. The Journal of Educational Research, 103: 72-80.
  • 26. What is scientific knowing?
  • 27. Science Science is the body of knowledge about the natural world generated by methods that emphasize observation, experimentation and explanation of real-world phenomena....I maintain that science, similar to narrative, in general has been reduced to method....The actual practices of scientists differ substantially from idealized characterizations embodied in the dominant white-coat image. Erickson and Gutierrez described the culture of science as one which is far from rational and disinterested but is steeped in passion, argument, and aesthetics. Real science, they suggested, ―is not about certainty but about uncertainty‖ (Erickson & Gutierrez, p. 22). Hendry, P.M. (2010) Narrative as Inquiry. The Journal of Educational Research, 103: p. 77.
  • 28. What is research? Not following method is absolutely necessary for the growth of knowledge. In fact, most science only becomes scientific or reasonable after the fact (p. 77). Research, then, is not just a method but also a way of life and living with others. Current understandings of research based on dualistic, binary assumptions must be disrupted as a means to break the barriers that divide and separate in order to create spaces for dialogue. Reconceptualizing narrative as inquiry is perhaps one way to begin this conversation (p. 79). Hendry, P.M. (2010) Narrative as Inquiry. The Journal of Educational Research, 103: 72- 80.
  • 29. Maybe, we need a narrative paradigm?
  • 30. What is the nature of being? Social reality is constructed, fluid and multifaceted. The narrative paradigm draws on the constructivist paradigm, with its phenomenological and hermeneutic foundations, and the poststructuralist paradigm. But the narrative paradigm is more specific, in its focus on the storied nature of human conduct (Sarbin, 1986), maintaining that social reality is primarily a narrative reality. (p. 211) The ontology of the paradigm. Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224.
  • 31. Reality is fluid.
  • 32. What is narrative knowing? With regard to epistemology, the narrative paradigm shares underlying assumptions with the constructivist paradigm, maintaining that we understand ourselves and our world by way of interpretative processes that are subjective and culturally rooted. But how exactly do we shape reality? How do we interpret it? The narrative paradigm suggests a definite answer: through stories. Narrative is depicted as an ―organizing principle‖ (Sarbin, 1986) of human experience and ―narrative knowing‖ (Polkinghorne, 1988) is offered as a primary mode of thought relevant to social reality" (Bruner, 1986). Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224.
  • 33. What is narrative knowing? Video was not exported from SlideRocket Sally was a fifteen year old girl from Nebraska Gypsies were passing through her little town They dropped something on the road , she picked it up And cultural revolution right away begun! Yes right away begun! They always were afraid that I was schizophrenic They always were afraid schto ja rodinu prodam A po pravde ja bil prosto malenkij medvedik Spizdil vsjo you vseh I vsjo nahuj proebal From all the tables of contents that Mother Earth provides I'd like to be a big fat fucking fly The one that spins around your head all day and all night And sound of it is just like a what? But by the accident of some kind divine dispensation I ended up being walking United Nation And I survive even fucking radiation
  • 34. What are narrative's methods? Qualitative researchers employ an impressive range of (1) materials that serve as data; (2) methods of collecting or producing these materials; and (3) methods of analysis and interpretation. The data of any narrative research are, therefore, stories — written and oral, personal and collective, autobiographical ―big‖ stories and ―small stories‖, as recently termed by Bamberg (2008) and Georgakopoulou (2006). Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224. p. 213.
  • 35. • Introduction (problem, questions) • Research procedures (a narrative, significance of individual, data collection, analysis outcomes) • Report of stories • Individuals theorize about their lives • Narrative segments identified • Patterns of meaning identified (events, processes, epiphanies, themes) • Summary (Adapted from Denzin, 1989a, 1989b Performing an inquiry
  • 36. Analytic focus of narrative inquiry Chase identified five interconnected, analytic lenses used in narrative inquiry (Chase 2005: 657-8). Narrative as a vehicle for the uniqueness of human actions Narrator‘s voice and the verbal action and choices made by the narrator The ways in which the narrative was constrained by social circumstances Narratives as socially situated, interactive performances between the researcher and the participant Researchers as narrators as seen in autoethnographic research Hunter, 2010, p. 46
  • 37. Themes situating narrative research Relationship of researcher and researched: movement away from a position of objectivity defined from the positivistic, realist perspective toward a research perspective focused on interpretation and the understanding of meaning (p. 9) Movement from numbers to words as data. Movement from the general to the particular: When researchers make the turn toward a focus on the particular, it signals their understanding of the value of a particular experience, in a particular setting, involving particular people (p. 21) Movement blurring knowing: The final turn we explore here is the turn from one way of knowing the world to an understanding that there are multiple ways of knowing and understanding human experience Clandinin (2006) Situating Narrative Inquiry. Handbook of Narrative Inquiry pp. 1-34
  • 38. How is the data interpreted? Two basic principles are widely accepted as characterizing narrative methodology 1) Treating the story as an object for examination, not as a neutral pipeline for conducting knowledge that is ―out there‖.... based on the assumption that stories are the data, not a channel to the data. 2) Following the narrative ontology that emphasizes the story‘s holistic nature. Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224. p. 213.
  • 39. The story is the world, the reality, the movement, the knowing.
  • 40. Adopting a multidimensional disciplinary lens - emotion, cognition, culture, gender, class. Treating the story as a whole unit. Maintaining a regard for form and content. Paying attention to contexts. Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224. p. 213. Narrative analysis is based on a holistic strategy
  • 41. Where is the researcher?
  • 42. Positioning the researcher In contrast to the positivist premise, that it is possible and imperative to distinguish between the known and the knower, between reality ―as it is‖ and the researcher ―discovering‖ it, the narrative paradigm, like other interpretive paradigms, maintains that researchers and the phenomena they study are inseparable. p. 216 Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224. p. 213.
  • 43. While some narrative researchers endeavor for a sounder understanding of the phenomenon they study, others take a further step by striving for personal, social or political change. In Josselson‘s terms (2004), the former aim at ―decoding‖ their participants‘ texts in order to analyze unconscious or socially constructed processes, while the latter seek to ―give voice‖ to their participants. Indeed, the question whether narrative inquiry ―is descriptive or interventionist; that is, does… [it] set out to change the world… or is it a more descriptive kind of inquiry‖ (Clandinin, 2007b, p. xv), is a pressing debate among narrative researchers. Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224. p. 213. Descriptive or interventionist?
  • 44. Who'll stop the rain Video was not exported from SlideRocket
  • 45. the unknown soldier
  • 46. "Reflexivity is the unknown soldier of social science" Margaret Archer
  • 47. Reflexivity Reflexivity is exercised through people holding internal conversations. Inner conversation is the regular exercise of the mental ability shared by all normal people to consider themselves in relation to their social contexts and vice versa. Internal speech is for oneself. External speech is for others. Vigotsky Archer, M. S. (2007). Making our way through the world: Human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • 48. Silence and privacy Internal conversation takes place in silence without conventions or rules or manners. We talk silently to ourselves without misunderstanding. Archer, M. S. (2007). Making our way through the world: Human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • 49. Social mobility is a reflexive task Concerns -- Projects -- Practices We talk to ourselves about society in relation to ourselves and about ourselves in relation to society. Archer, M. S. (2007). Making our way through the world: Human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • 50. Internal conversations and the pursuit of the good life Defining and dovetailing one's CONCERNS ⇔⇔⇔⇔Internal goods Developing concrete courses of action PROJECTS ⇔⇔⇔⇔Projects Establishing satisfying sustainable PRACTICES ⇔⇔⇔⇔Modus vivendi Archer, M. S. (2007). Making our way through the world: Human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • 51. The three realms of inquiry
  • 52. The three realms of inquiry There are three realms or spaces of narrative inquiry to answer the "Who-am-I question" in terms of navigating between two opposing alternatives: (i) sameness⇔difference between self and other (ii) world⇔person direction of fit (iii) constancy⇔change across time, where the first two require choices that do not have to account for temporal dimensions. (Bamberg, 2012, p. 205)
  • 53. Dilemma one: Be-ing in relation to others First, in our daily practices, we continuously mark ourselves as different, similar or same with respect to others. Integrating and differentiating a sense of who we are vis-à-vis others is a process of moment-to-moment navigations, and stories about self and others are good candidates to practice this from early on. Descriptions, practical reasoning or theoretical discourses may be equally important discursive practices for developing and changing the membership constructions that divide and unite people along affiliations and alignments in terms of being just like them (belonging) — or different (as in being special and unique).
  • 54. What is your relationship as a researcher to other members of the class and their chosen methodologies? Begin a narrative exploring sameness⇔difference.
  • 55. Dilemma two: Mapping out agency The second dilemmatic space often is termed ‗agency;‘ and although it seems as if agency is something that we have, even if only in the form of a capacity, I am suggesting to view it along the lines of navigating the sameness⇔difference dilemma as a space where we navigate two directions of opposing fit: one from world-to-person and the other from person-to-world. While it is possible to view a sense of who we are as passive recipients of influences (typically from biological or outside forces such as parents, teachers, or culture), it also is possible to view world as a product of self (where the self is constructed as highly agentive). The navigation of agency⇔passivity/recipiency as a dilemmatic space becomes particularly relevant in presentations of characters as involved and responsible — as for claims to success and self-aggrandizement — versus denials of culpability in mishaps or wrongdoings.
  • 56. Describe your agency within in the classroom? Continue your narrative exploring world⇔person, where the world is limited to the room and our shared experiences.
  • 57. The dilemma of how to navigate the connection of a sense of who we used to be with how we want to position ourselves for the here-and-now is often seen as closely coupled to issues of acquiring or developing self-worth, having deteriorated and become useless, and of striving for (or losing out on) the life one would like to live. Dilemma three: Positioning ourselves
  • 58. Have you lived the life you wanted to live here? Complete your narrative exploring constancy⇔change.
  • 59. What to be mindful of when telling stories Where and how RESEARCHERS/PARTICIPANTS/STORYTELLERS ―break into storytelling mode,‖ i.e., how storytelling differs from what was going on and/or talked about before How RESEARCHERS/PARTICIPANTS/STORYTELLERS manage their telling in terms of the formal (structural) properties of how they weave place, time and characters (content) into plot-like themes How RESEARCHERS/PARTICIPANTS/STORYTELLERS manage to hold the floor throughout their storytelling activity, and keep their audience engaged How RESEARCHERS/PARTICIPANTS/STORYTELLERS end their storytelling activity and return to the here-and-now of the story-telling situation (Bamberg, 2012, p. 201).
  • 60. What are your concerns regarding narrative inquiry?
  • 61. Issues with restorying the narrative The social constructionist perspective is that all ‗narratives sit at the intersection of history, biography, and society‘ (Liamputtong and Ezzy 2005: 132); they are dependent on the context of the teller and the listener; and are not intended to represent ‗truth‘. Foucault warned social scientists to be alert to the danger that their explanations and diagnoses, when disseminated, could lead to further subjugation (Gergen and Gergen 2003). Fine (2003) cautioned about the danger of writing about those who have been 'othered‘, and pointed out the inherent risk of romanticising narratives. There is also a need for qualitative researchers to be aware of their own power when conducting research to ‗help‘ the other (Fine 2003). A further dilemma in this approach is that of the moral and ethical stance taken by the researcher. (Hunter, 2010, p.45)
  • 62. De-centering the story
  • 63. The equal right to speak? Another significant difference between narrative and many other qualitative methodological approaches is the extent to which the researcher‘s story becomes intrinsic to the study. Through my own desire to explore the experiences I have shared … I realise how my biography fueled my intuition… I, too, lead a storied life and the research relationship is part of my experiential text (Winkler 2003, 399) Making oneself apparent via such reflexivity carries with it a danger. One risks making oneself more central to the discourse, pushing ‗other‘ voices out to the margins (Edwards and Ribbens 1998). A way of remedying this danger, as, several of the contributors do in this Special Issue, is to adhere to the Bakhtinian concept of polyphony, or equality of utterance, where both narrator and listener exist on the same plane and have equal right to speak (Bakhtin 1986). Trahar p. 261
  • 64. Do you believe in the equal right to speak and how do you practice this principle as a researcher?
  • 65. The route to the truth? One allegation is that researchers often re-present narratives as if they were ‗authentic‘ when: Autobiographical accounts are no more ‗authentic than other modes of representation: a narrative of a personal experience is not a clear route into ‗the truth‘, either about the reported events, or of the teller‘s private experience … (Atkinson and Delamont 2006, p. 166) These critics look for ‗the supporting evidence and argument given by the researcher‘ (Polkinghorne 2007, p. 476) for the claim that is made. Trahar, p. 262
  • 66. Is it our job as researchers to deliver the truth?
  • 67. Resisting an impoverished system of meaning A further criticism leveled at narrative researchers is that, in their concern to represent the meanings that individuals ascribe to their lived experience, they resist what Fox in her article defines as ‗a globalised, homogenised, impoverished system of meaning‘, and are opposed to collective understanding being derived from their work. Trahar, p. 262
  • 68. What is the value of an individual standpoint as opposed to the collective understanding?
  • 69. Concerns regarding "narrative imperialism" The expansionist ―impulse by students of narrative to claim more and more territory… [which] can stretch the concept of narrative to the point that we lose sight of what is distinctive about it‖ (Phelan, 2005, p. 206). Though in my view narrative inquiry and narrative paradigm basically overlap, other visions may stress the distance between them, conceiving the first as a much broader landscape than indicated by the latter. Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224. p. 221
  • 70. Is all research narrative?
  • 71. Alice was here
  • 72. References Archer, M. S. (2007). Making our way through the world: Human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Bamberg, M. (2012). Why Narrative? Narrative Inquiry 22:1, 202-210. Chase S E 2005 ‗Narrative inquiry: Multiple lenses, approaches, voices‘ in N K Denzin and Y S Lincoln (eds) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research Sage Publications,Thousand Oaks, CA: 651-80 Clandinin (2006) Situating Narrative Inquiry. Handbook of Narrative Inquiry pp. 1-34 Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Los Angeles: Sage. Hendry, P.M. (2010) Narrative as Inquiry. The Journal of Educational Research, 103: 72-80. Hunter, S (2010) Analysing and representing narrative data: the long and winding road. Current Narrtives. 1(2) 42-54. Johnson, L. (2012). An inquiry into inquiry: Learning to become a literacy researcher. English Teaching: Practice and Critique. 11(2) 81-93. McMillan, S. & Price M. (2009). Through the looking glass: Our autoethnographic journey through research mind-fields. Qualitative Inquiry. 15: 140-148. Spector-Mersel, Gabriela (2010). Narrative research: Time for a paradigm. Narrative Inquiry 20(1), 204–224. Trahar, S. (2008). It starts with once upon a time... Compare. 38(3), 259-266.