It will aim to be one of possibly the central contemporary international text in this field for social work researchers, bringing together in one volume the developments and debates that have been seen in recent years in peer reviewed journals, including the Sage journal Qualitative Social Work (founded and co-edited by one of us).
In this chapter we explore the role of stories in qualitative social work research. Concentrating mainly on narrative research as a whole, we also mention and acknowledge the role of a range of different methods and approaches under the narratives umbrella, including life story and oral history interviews and the exploration of biographies through arts-based methods. After a general discussion of narratives in social work research, we explore narratives in four ways: as sources of substantive knowledge about individual and group experiences, as being functional in creating and reproducing group identities and memories, as being produced in relationship to others and in having form as well as content. In the second half of the chapter we discuss methods and approaches for exploring ...