Just stories, or sites of revelation and learning?

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


    "Just stories; anecdotal evidence!"
    This is sometimes heard as a critique of narrative methodologies. But what if there are just stories? Much qualitative research privileges processes such as abstraction, through, for example the reductive generation of themes and pattern identification in the analysis of data, mirroring the ‘scientific method’. In contrast, it is argued by some, including those in evidence-based medicine, that narrative methodologies offer something distinctive; that is, the methodological ability to understand research participants’ subjectivities more deeply and ‘to incorporate (and respond appropriately to) diverse cultural contexts’ (Greenhalgh, 2016, p. viii). Too often, research seeks prematurely to identify patterns of human activity as proxies for some deeper truth or understanding, and, in the process, can become de-sensitized to the existence of plural perspectives and contextual equivocality. Whilst shared patterns and scripts of convenience do, to some extent, underpin our experiences, what complexities of lived experience are concealed? Is there also a risk of sentimentalizing participant stories?
    This workshop will explore critically, some of the reasons why, and how, narrative methodologies are seen to offer potential in researching subjectivities in complex contexts, including how digital technologies may rightly or wrongly become increasingly implicated in such processes.
    Period29 Nov 2017