This book responds to the ever-growing production and consumption of stories of all kinds in popular and academic cultures. Narrative is a fundamental means whereby we make sense of our own lives and of the world around us, but we are not often aware that we shape our identities and relationships through narrative. Keeping of a traditional diary was always a minority pursuit but all that changed after blogging and social networking: with over 700 million users and growing, Facebook is the biggest but by no means the only truly global platform for the creation and exchange of all kinds of narratives. Digital media and social networking offer us accessible and exciting means for the reading, writing, re-mixing and sharing narrative. This book opens up all of these issues to the reader, while teaching how narrative research is done. Brian Alleyne teaches Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Narrative at Work in the World


Figure 4.1 Chapter Map

Figure 4.1

Key Learning Objectives

  • To distinguish between a first and second order narrative.
  • To apply our knowledge of theories of narrative to examine how narratives are used in stories about the self.
  • To discuss narrative aspects of social media, using several studies of Facebook.
  • To discuss research on narrative in videogames.
  • To discuss how narratives have been used by hackers to represent themselves, and by others on hackers and hacker culture.
  • To apply the analytical frameworks discussed in the previous chapter to the discussion of cases and exemplar work.
  • To develop the ability to read narrative research.


Using narrative and analysing narrative cannot be easily separated; however as social scientists concerned with narrative we must do both. In this chapter we look at ...

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