Narrative Paradigm Steven Smith & Brittani Hunter
Main Idea: People are story telling creatures. “We experience and comprehend life as a series of ongoing narratives, asconflicts, characters, beginnings, m iddles, and ends.”
• Fisher defines “Narration” as “symbolic actions—words and/or deeds—that have sequence & meaning for those who live, create, or interpret them”• Views narration as the basis of all human communication.
“Paradigm” is defined as “aconceptual framework; a universalmodel that calls for people to view events through common interpretive lens.”
Rational Paradigm• Assumes that… – People are essentially rational. – We make decisions on the basis of arguments. – The type of speaking situation (legal, scientific, legislative) determines the course of our argument. – Rationality is determined by how much we know and how well we argue. – The world is a set of logical puzzles that we can solve through rational analysis.
Rational Paradigm (cont’d)• Suggests that logic is privileged over emotion.• Empiricism reigns.• Rise of technological experts.• Logos is reduced to “philosophical discourse & statements.”
Narrative Paradigm Assumptions• People are storytellers.• We make decisions based on good reasons, which vary depending on the communication context & medium.• History, biography, culture, and character determine what we consider good reasons.• Narrative rationality is determined by the coherence and fidelity of our stories.• The world is a set of stories from which we choose.
Narrative coherence: internalconsistency in the story; the storyhangs together.Narrative fidelity: the compatibilitybetween the values in a message andwhat listeners consider truthful andhumane; “story strikes a responsivechord”.
Narrative rationality: A way to evaluate theworth of stories based on narrativecoherence and narrative fidelity.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rPFvLUWkzshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO8imsZl1F8http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilJQsBLAIE0
Critique of FisherCritics of the Narrative Paradigm claim that Fisher is overly optimistic in his view that people have a natural tendency to prefer the true and just.