Intertextuality as an interpretative method in qualitative research
This article seeks to present and exemplify to the qualitative researcher the term intertextuality as a concept and as a method that may offer a framework for the analysis and interpretation of short narratives or life stories. Intertextuality as a central concept in the study of culture is particularly suitable for qualitative research, central to which is the subjectivity of the narrator, the story, and the listener/researcher, as well as the relative and indeterminate dimension of knowledge. However, using intertextuality as an interpretative method in various types of texts mandates the researcher’s awareness and abilities in areas that this article discusses. In light of the methodological objective of the article, we selected narratives that represent different types of intertextual linkage on different interpretative levels, on different levels of complexity, and on different levels of ideas. The intertextual reading to be demonstrated detects the combination of various types of cultural components in the narrative as a means of representing the world of the narrator; it takes into account a possible macro context in the narrator’s story, its style and structure, the narrator’s implicit personal interpretation, and the researcher-interpreter’s option to reread the narrative.
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