This book tackles the challenges of how to make sense of qualitative data. It offers students and researchers a hands-on guide to the practicalities of coding, comparing data, and using computer-assisted qualitative data analysis. Lastly, Gibbs shows you how to bring it all together, so you can see the steps of qualitative analysis, understand the central place of coding, ensure analytic quality and write effectively to present your results.

Analyzing Biographical, Narrative and Discursive Elements

Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should:

  • know what the analysis of narratives, stories and biographies has added to qualitative research;
  • understand the sources and functions of narratives;
  • see the particular content and themes of life histories or biographies;
  • be aware of a range of practical approaches to analysing narratives;
  • know more about the structure of narratives;
  • understand the nature of discourses; and
  • appreciate the role of discursive repertoires, subject positions and dominant discourse and apparatuses and institutions in discourse analysis.

Narratives

Narration or story telling is one of the fundamental ways that people organize their understanding of the world (see also Flick, 2018a, 2018c; Brinkmann and Kvale, 2018). In stories they make sense to themselves of their past experience and they share that experience with others. ...

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