Sunday, 3 May 2015

Narrative Inquiry: Into the Dialogue

I have been reading alot of different books on narrative inquiry lately to trying to become a little more proficient in one approach, rather than a jack of all trades. The writer that most resonates is the very impressive Ruthellen Josselsson, US clinical psychologist and narrative researcher.

Her book chapter Imagining the Real: Empathy, Narrative and the Dialogical Self  is one of the most insightful pieces i have ever read on narrative inquiry, focusing the researcher on understanding, not explanation, giving permission for the researcher to be concerned with the whole person and most importantly with empathy.....

I am particularity taken by the way in which she demystifies the influence of (Russian philosopher) Bahktin, who is having a heyday still in qualitative research (and family therapy). Bahktin was concerned with literature....

"The form of the novel, as exemplified in Dostoevsky, encourages dialogic speech, as different characters speak in recognizably different voices, and engage with each other in debating worldviews, rather than affirming a single worldview". 

...but in research terms the dialogic implies that a person  can perhaps be best understood as an interaction between the researcher and the different internal voices in the participant ...there is no self to be studied (the self is nothing more than a story), just the recognition and participation of this dialogue...the focus is on realness, not truth..

If your doing narrative inquiry, I highly recommend these readings...

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