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date: 20 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the role of narrative in the relationship between individuals and their cultural worlds. Drawing on assumptions of interpretive cultural psychology and a Wittgensteinian concept of narrative as a cultural form of life, it proposes a culturally thick notion of narrative. At the heart of this notion is the idea of narrative as a cultural practice, a practice of meaning construction. This argument is developed in discussions of five traditions of research that have explored the nature of narrative (1) in contexts of cultural traditions and (2) socialization, (3) as a “form of life,” (4) with respect to fictional and nonfictional genres, and (5) as an instrument and practice of folk psychology. The resulting outline of a culturally thick notion of narrative is further elaborated by arguments from narratology, discussions on narrative in the light of evolutionary anthropology, and interpretive approaches to narrative in philosophy and the social sciences.

Keywords: narrative, narrative psychology, narrative practice, meaning, intentionality, socialization, folk psychology, narrative as a form of life

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