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Narrative Enquiry With Depressed Young People and Their Use of Metaphor

Case
By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

Because many young people in Malaysia are affected by depression, a narrative approach was used to draw out interpretations from individuals to better understand their experience. Previous mental or public health studies in Malaysia are generally based on a medical model or quantitative methodology; however, I chose a qualitative approach for this study, and my reasons for adopting the narrative approach in particular are discussed. This case study provides an account of one profound yet practical aspect of how to draw out the richness and details of life experiences, especially when metaphoric language is used. This case study sheds light on the particular challenges in using a narrative approach in which reality is reviewed by the research participants during their own re-examination of their experiences, and which can have multiple constructions. This study touches on the meaning-making process which is culturally rooted in the uncertainties of language. It also provides basic attending and listening as well as practical questioning skills such as probe and future-oriented questions. How to conduct in-depth narrative enquiries, in particular, that focus on unpacking metaphoric language so that the research participants can describe and interpret their depressed episodes is discussed.

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