Stories of Narrative: On Social Scientific Uses of Narrative in Multiple Disciplines
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This paper explores how narrative is understood and used by scholars in multiple disciplines to investigate social scientific issues. This is not, however, a traditional literature review. It is a report on an empirical study that involved systematic methods of data collection and analysis. The data in this case are scholarly literature on narrative, and an inductive analysis reveals three emergent themes. The first is the general tendency to view narrative as a formative mechanism in the construction of self and reality. The second addresses the ways narrative is conceptualized in terms of linguistic features, including structural and formal qualities, and how these features are studied in relation to social interaction. The third theme addresses how narrative is understood and employed as a method of social research. This paper contributes a valuable resource on narrative studies for scholars working within multiple disciplines.