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The textuality of human experience

December 10, 2014

“…a narrative approach conceives of human experience and action as a text (e.g., Ricoeur, 1984).”  ~ Phillip L Hammack, p.64

“The narrative concept links the stuff of thought and feeling with documents of life – life stories, speeches, media representations, cultural artifacts accessible on paper or online, and the like. Stories surround us and offer us access to the intersection of cognition, emotion, and intentional action on the world. Transcending disciplinary boundaries, we can interrogate stories as individuals engage with them, in conversation or in response to some storied stimulus, and we can map how stories “out there” converge with stories “in there” by viewing the entirety of social life as interconnected storylines always in process. Finally, investigators of narrative themselves construct narratives that are not neutral vis-a-vis the political behavior, dynamics, or configuration they describe and explain. The psychology of narrative is thus an integrative science which sees persons and settings as mutually constituted in relation to received matrices of power and the relative meaning and value of social categories, and the products of narrative science themselves may alter the very historical reality they seek to describe. The task, then, of the narrativist of politics and psychology is to produce knowledge that, to paraphrase Marx, goes beyond understanding toward change itself.” p.69 Phillip L Hammack

Ref: (emphases in blue bold mine) 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

Reference is to: Ricoeur, P (1984) The model of the text: meaningful action considered as a text. Social Research, 51, 185-218

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