Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education
Show Less

Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education

  • Elgar original reference

Edited by Sara Delamont

The Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education offers both basic and advanced discussions of data collection, analysis and representation of all the best qualitative methods used in educational research.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 20: Gathering Narrative Data

Jane Elliott

Extract

Jane Elliott INTRODUCTION: DEFINING NARRATIVE AND UNDERSTANDING ITS IMPORTANCE IN RESEARCH Perhaps the most concise definition of narrative is that it is a story with a beginning, a middle and an end – this description has been traced back to Aristotle in his Poetics (Chatman, 1978; Martin, 1986). Temporality is certainly widely accepted as a key feature of narrative form. In an influential paper, Labov and Waletzky (1997)1 stated that narrative provides a ‘method of recapitulating past experiences by matching a verbal sequence of clauses to the sequence of events that actually occurred’ (p. 12). The placing of events in a sequence is therefore considered by many to be the defining feature of narrative, and it is this that perhaps best characterizes the use of narrative in many research interviews. However, a successful narrative is more than just a sequence or chronicle of events. Indeed, Labov and Waletzky (1997) suggested that although a minimal narrative is composed of a sequence of actions such a narrative is ‘abnormal: it may be considered as empty or pointless narrative’ (Labov and Waletzky, 1997, p. 13). They described fully formed narratives as having six separate elements: the abstract (a summary of the subject of the narrative); the orientation (time, place, situation, participants); the complicating action (what actually happened); the evaluation (the meaning and significance of the action); the resolution (what finally happened); and lastly, the coda, which returns the perspective to the present (see Cortazzi and Jin, Chapter 35, this volume for a more...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.