Ecological landscape in narrative thought
How siege survivors employ prepositions to make sense of war-torn Sarajevo
This study explores how 16 individuals who grew up during the four-year long military siege of the city employ language to make sense of their everyday experiences in Sarajevo following the conclusion of the Bosnian War. Narrative inquiry is employed in this work to study sense-making, a psychological process based in language and situated in interaction with extant social and physical landscapes. During the study, participants wrote responses across the three narrative contexts (1) the prewar, (2) the acute war, and (3) the postwar. Data analyses examine how participants enact ecological landscape in narrative construction through varied use of prepositions across the three narrative contexts. Significantly higher use of prepositions in the acute war narrative context indicates that growing up amidst urban destruction gives rise to thought processes that draw on spatial and temporal relations in order to make sense of radical environmental changes in the landscape of war.
Keywords: sense-making, youth, Sarajevo, Bosnia, siege, war, urban destruction, prepositions, environmental affordances, environmental psychology
Published online: 19 October 2018
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