Finding the arc
A story about a search for narratives
Powerful narratives exist about the nature, practice and validity of narrative inquiry. It is storied, for example, as complex, time-consuming and unappreciated by the conservative sociology academe. As a new PhD candidate I planned to undertake a straight thematic analysis. However, it became evident that an alternative approach was required. This paper tells a story about my struggle to comprehend narrative analysis and find the arc of my participant’s stories. Because writing ‘my sexual story’ provided a particular turning point in this journey I also recount this here, in addition to an outline of the analytical framework I developed to interpret my data. I argue that narrative analysis is not easily learned through traditional scholarship: texts, journal articles, supervisors and conferences. Rather, a lingering, challenging — but ultimately highly rewarding journey may be required. It is my hope that this paper will provide insight and assistance to the novice narrative researcher.
Published online: 13 May 2013
Cited by 2 other publications
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