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Mapping A Landscape Of Narrative Inquiry Dissertation

Structuring the Handbook

The seven-part structure of the handbook evolved through discussions, reading, and reflecting on the field. Part I, two chapters, is designed to provide something of a historical overview and a delineation of the tensions, boundary conditions, and borderlands among narrative inquiry and other research methodologies. These two chapters set a frame for the handbook, although some other chapter authors eventually wrote short pieces in their chapters that outlined their particular takes on the history of the field and the tensions they identify from their contextual standpoints.

The next two parts, Parts II and III, were organized around a simple distinction that Michael Connelly and I developed for a chapter in the Handbook of Complementary Methods (Connelly & Clandinin, 2006). The distinction was between narrative methodologies that begin with the telling of stories—that is, in the told stories of participants—and those that begin with living alongside participants—that is, in the living out of stories. In some, perhaps most, narrative inquiry methodologies, participants are asked to tell their stories. For example, Kramp (2004) writes that narrative inquiry is both a process (in which the narrator tells) and a product (the story told). In most narrative inquiry focused on “telling,” where the interest is in stories told or in interpretations and meanings generated, the working methods are interviews, conversations, autobiographical writings, and so on. In other narrative inquiries, the inquiry begins with the “living” of stories. In these studies, the beginning point is in living in relation with participants. The research ground for such studies is the ongoing life of participants. Of course, there are also tellings involved in such studies, but living is the main focus. The difference between telling and living is often a difference between life as lived in the past (telling) and life as it unfolds (living). The chapters in Part II were commissioned to focus on research methods that began with the telling of stories, while the chapters in Part III focused on methods where the initial starting point was in action or in the lives being lived.

In choosing chapter topics for Parts II and III, we did a kind of reflexive “back and forthing” as we thought about the topics as well as about influential researchers known for each particular method. The working editorial group read widely about each particular method, and we talked often, eventually selecting potential authors based on our reading and talking. We selected seven chapter topics for Part II and four chapter topics for Part III.

We realized there was a great range of narrative inquiry in many professions. Part IV, focused on narrative inquiry in the professions, is composed of four chapters from the professional fields where the most narrative research is going on—that is, teaching, organizational studies, therapy in health fields, and social [Page xii]work, counseling, and psychotherapy. While narrative inquiry is also found in nursing, medicine, and law, we did not commission separate chapters in those fields, although several chapters make reference to narrative inquiry in those fields.

As these sections were designed, we decided to ask authors not only to review literature in the broad area of their topic, paying attention to breadth, depth, and multiplicity to illuminate themes, but also to describe and use their own research as an exemplar in which to ground the discussion of issues and concerns. In this way, we hoped the chapters would offer readers more developed examples of the ways a particular method was being engaged.

We designed Part V as a separate section to highlight narrative inquiry in areas that we felt warranted special attention. Narrative inquiry in cross-cultural situations seems to generate a unique set of concerns, as does narrative inquiry with children. I wanted to attend closely to the particular issues in engaging in narrative inquiry with indigenous peoples. Because ethical issues and representational issues emerge again and again in narrative inquiry, we designed Part VI to draw attention to them as well as to highlight their importance as topics in narrative inquiry.

Finally, Part VII was designed to provide a forward-looking overview of narrative inquiry. By looking to policy and practice as well as by looking backward and forward, we hoped to offer something of a future-oriented map for narrative inquiry. By asking key scholars for their views, we hoped not only to define the present but also to highlight future directions. At this moment in time, narrative inquiry is alive with a rich explosion of ideas. However, this is also a time of retrenchment and backlash as policy makers try to exercise control over what counts as research and what research counts. In these final chapters, we hope to offer insights into the current debates as well as to offer openings for continuing narrative inquiry as a vibrant, scholarly area.

Он потер виски, подвинулся ближе к камере и притянул гибкий шланг микрофона ко рту. - Сьюзан. Она была потрясена. Прямо перед ней во всю стену был Дэвид, его лицо с резкими чертами. - Сьюзан, я хочу кое о чем тебя спросить.

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