The term narrative research (or narrative inquiry—the terms are often used interchangeably) has various definitions, but most broadly it refers to a research methodology that uses stories and storytelling as a source of knowledge. Interdisciplinary in nature, narrative research focuses on the structure and content of verbal communication (spoken and written) and assumes that because humans organize their memories and experiences primarily through narratives, stories contain messages about the nature of reality. Narrative research, which is an increasingly important form of inquiry in the social sciences, includes several methods such as discourse analysis, conversation analysis, sociolinguistics, and narratology. Each academic discipline, however, approaches narrative research differently and brings different sets of assumptions, concerns, and foci to the work. Narrative research is often difficult to distinguish ...
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