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Narrative Inquiry$
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Kathleen Wells

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385793

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385793.001.0001

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Analysis of Narrative in Context

Analysis of Narrative in Context

(p.100) 7 Analysis of Narrative in Context
Narrative Inquiry

Kathleen Wells

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses two new approaches to the analysis of narrative: critical narrative analysis and contextual discursive analysis. It examines each approach in relation to its theoretical orientation, central question, major concepts, and orientation to method. Each approach is illustrated with the work of the scholar who developed the method. Critical narrative analysis draws on psychosocial studies, constructionist theory, and psycho-analytic theory. The commonalities and divergences between critical narrative analysis and psychoanalysis are noted. Contextual discursive analysis emphasizes, by way of comparison, the societal genres and cultural stories on which discourse depends and, drawing on Kristeva's concept of the abject, on the ways in which individuals seek to represent what they cannot say symbolically. The limitations and strengths of each method are also reviewed.

Keywords:   narrative in context, critical narrative analysis, psychosocial studies, constructionist theory, psychoanalytic theory, contextual discursive analysis, genre, cultural stories, abject, symbolic representation

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