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Psychology in Society

On-line version ISSN 2309-8708
Print version ISSN 1015-6046

Abstract

BRADBURY, Jill. Creative twists in the tale: Narrative and visual methodologies in action. Psychol. Soc. [online]. 2017, n.55, pp.14-37. ISSN 2309-8708.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8708/2017/n55a3.

Narrative methodologies emphasise the temporal quality of both lived lives and told stories, and enable us to attend to the ways in which the grand narratives of history and socio-political life articulate with individual, personal lives or psychological realities. However, the narrative approach entails three key epistemological and/or political problems: 1) the imposition of a particular conception of a "good" narrative (and by implication, psyche or life) that entails logical flow, integration and coherence; 2) the production and re-inscription of a gap between life and story, particularly stories told in research interviews; and 3) individualising single narrators extracted from their contexts. I argue that combining narrative research methods with visual methodologies within an action research paradigm may assist us to work through and against these limitations. Visual methodologies are relatively commonplace as a means to collect data, particularly helpful when stories are difficult to articulate. I suggest extending the use of visual techniques to facilitate creative representation and productive analysis. Examples of innovative visual representations of data illustrate possibilities for challenging the limits above: 1) Repetitive stress injuries: Non-stories and visual techniques for sense-making; 2) Visual tracking of multiple temporal trajectories; and 3) Re-invoking the relational quality of narrated identity.

Keywords : narrative; visual methodologies; (in) coherence; theory-method; relationality; temporality.

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