In this volume, academics and researchers across disciplines including education, psychology and health studies come together to discuss personal, political and professional narratives of struggle, resilience and hope. Contributors draw from a rich body of auto/biographical research to examine the role of narrative and how it can be constructed to compose a life story, considering the roles of significant others, inspirational, educational and fictional characters, and those in myth and legend.
The book discusses how personal narrative, often neglected in social and psychological enquiry, can be a valuable resource across a range of settings. Reference is made to the evolving role of narrative in education and health care, medicine and psychotherapy. This includes how particular narratives are hardwired into culture in ways that stifle personal and social understanding. Rather than providing a ‘how to’ guide, the book illustrates the range and power of narrative, including poetry, to re-awaken senses of self and agency in extremis. Each chapter draws on specific research, describing the context, explaining the methodology, and illuminating important findings.
Discussing implications for research and practice, this book will be key reading for postgraduate and doctoral students in auto/biographical and narrative studies, and across a range of disciplines, including education, health and social care, politics, counselling and psychotherapy. It will be of interest to academics teaching research methods, and those developing biographical and auto/biographical narrative research.
1. Narratives of Change and Continuity: Their Transdisciplinary and Subversive Potential Linden West and Hazel Reid 2. Auto/Biography: A Relational Journey Laura Formenti 3. 'Moments of Being' and the Search for Meaning: Epistemological and Methodological Challenges for the Autoethnographic Researcher Wilma Fraser 4. ‘A Very Elementary Transformation of One’s Existence’: Narrating Moments of Political Change Molly Andrews 5. Learning Democracy and Fundamentalism: Narratives of Change, Recognition and Disrespect Linden West 6. Whose Story? Whose Memory? Multiple Readings of Oral-History Life Accounts from the Socialist Era Martin Hájek 7. Identity Formation and Re-Formation within Christian Fundamentalism: Journeys of Faith – Interrupted Josie McSkimming 8. Stories of Resistance and Resilience: Journeys to Engagement with the UK Global Justice Movement James Trewby 9. Family Beliefs and Practices around Academic Ability and Social Mobility: Narratives of Contradiction, Continuity, and Resistance Laura Mazzoli Smith 10. How Do Career Guidance Practitioners Talk about their Class, Gender and Racialised Identities? Janice Smith 11. What is Career about if Not Biography? Examining the ‘Shift’ to Constructivist and Interdisciplinary Approaches in Career Counselling Hazel Reid 12. Poetry Written from the Words of People Given a Diagnosis of Dementia: A Narrative Analysis Maria Castro and Kitty Clark-McGhee 13. ‘Those Letters Keep Me Going’: Epistolary Spaces and Resilience Building Processes in US Soldiers to Sweet Heart War Correspondence, 1942-1945 Anne Byrne and Tanja Kovačič