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date: 27 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the intellectual, philosophical, empirical, and pragmatic development of the turn toward narrative, tracing the rise of narrative inquiry as it evolved in the aftermath of the crisis of representation in the social sciences. Narrative inquiry seeks to humanize the human sciences, placing people, meaning and personal identity at the center, inviting the development of reflexive, relational, and interpretive methodologies and drawing attention not only on the actual but also to the possible and the good. The chapter synthesizes the changing methodological and ethical orientations of qualitative researchers associated with narrative inquiry; explores the divergent standpoints of small- story and big- story researchers, draws attention to the differences between narrative analysis and narratives-under-analysis; and reveals narrative practices that seek to help people form better relationships, overcome oppressive canonical identities, amplify or reclaim moral agency, and cope better with contingencies and difficulties experienced over the course of life.

Keywords: narrative, storytelling, narrative identity, reflexive methodologies, small stories, narrative analysis, autoethnography, qualitative inquiry, acts of meaning, interpretive social science

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