Publication details [#55826]

Schachter, Elli P. 2012. “When possible, make a U-turn“: Reflecting on 'the narrative turn', meaning, morality and identity. Narrative Inquiry 22 (1) : 186–193.
Publication type
Article in journal
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Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper discusses the problematic consequences of labeling Bruner and MacIntyre's work under the heading 'narrative turn'. It is argued that their focus on narrative was secondary to larger projects with more important implications for psychology which have unfortunately garnered less attention and have yet to be realized. Bruner's intent was to establish meaning-making as the central concept of psychology. MacIntyre's concern was with establishing grounds for moral living. Identity was conceived of as a crucial explanatory concept in the psychosocial construction of meaning and/or the good life. Understanding narrative however, although considered important, was not the primary goal of their efforts. This paper proposes refocusing on these original goals and on identity processes, be they narrative or paradigmatic, as they are involved in the ongoing organization of interpretive and evaluative meaning systems that are the grounds for intentionality and agency.