Using literary metaphor and characters as structural and symbolic tools
Creating a layered story world while preserving participant anonymity
Narrative researchers are faced with the challenges of ethically co-constructing human data and writing meaningful, readable research texts, which protect participants’ anonymity. This article adds to the conversation of qualitative, and especially narrative, inquiry by presenting one creative approach to these challenges. It proposes that using extended literary metaphor and known literary characters, as analytical and structural tools, develops allegoric layers of meaning while preserving participant anonymity. Situating narrative research in the realm of imaginative story may help readers and researchers, like Alice in her Wonderland adventures, return from their journey through the research storyworld portal with new insights, and heightened understandings, of those phenomena being revealed and illuminated through narrative.
Keywords: educational research, narrative inquiry, creativity in research, allegoric meaning, literary metaphor, participant anonymity
Published online: 30 June 2016
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