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One of the gems of narrative

December 9, 2014

“One of the gems of narrative is that it anchors concepts often viewed as abstract – ideology, identity, collective memory, social practice – in an empirically accessible product: the story. Stories have beginnings, middles, and ends. They have characters. They have themes or tropes. They have motifs intended to educate, motivate, and explain. They represent the most rudimentary form of our cognitive engagement with the social world, when one considers storytelling at the crib (Nelson, 2006).
Stories pervade our lives, and the task of the narrativist is to access, document, interrogate narratives – to witness them and to represent them to a broader audience, but also to make sense of the particularity of their psychopolitical functions in a given sociopolitical context. The narrativist is thus a problem-centered social scientist, concerned with how individuals and groups construct, deconstruct, and reconstruct their worlds through the linguistic practice of narration.” ~ Phillip L Hammack, p.63

“…the narrativist who takes a discourse analytic approach does not study individuals but rather units of text, such as utterances in a conversation or lines in a speech.” ~ Phillip L Hammack, p.65

Ref: (italics in original) Phillip L Hammack (2015) Mind, Story, and Society: The Political Psychology of Narrative. pp. 51- 77 in Eds. Michael Hanne, Michael D Crano, and Jeffery Scott Mio Warring with Words: Narrative and Metaphor in Politics. Psychology Press: New York and London


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