Sub Components of Narrative Theory, Case Study Example

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Case Study

The Personal Narrative– Has been described as that of a narrative statement that is aimed at making sense of the world and a person’s individual contribution within it.  The personal narrative reveals much information about the life story of an individual. Often to be found in the context of autobiographical memories.  These are often of great interest to those who wish to study the development of individual lives e.g.  Winston Churchill, Gandhi etc. (Robins, J. 2008).

The personal narrative may best be described as a ‘high density autobiography’ that facilitates the purpose of being able to focus on specific individual goals and objectives. It begins with a specific theme and provides a story narrative that concludes with a satisfactory ending. The structure may take on the following form:-

  • The topic – defines the theme of the story;
  • Thesis – The thesis statement
  • Element of style – Comparable to ?
  • Audience – Who the narrative will appeal to
  • Success Rating (DeLeon, K. 2012)

Deconstruction – The deconstriction of narrative explores not only the decomposition of the language and sentences within the narrative but the precise meaning of the words that are contained within it.  This best might be considered by listening to the words of a Shakespeare Play such as ‘ A Mid-summers nights dream’; it is difficult enough to understand the complex verse without some deconstruction in sense of both purpose and meaning.  (Eaton, K. 2012).

Katherine Kohler of Boston University has compiled a research paper on the forensics and analysis of the decomposition of narrative.  The paper examines techniques and discusses the procedure for investingating the narrative itself. She looks at this in the form of case centred research within the context of sociology and particularly that narrative associated with C.W. Mills.  (Riessman, C.K. 2012). “It is a common experience for investigators to carefully craft interview questions, only to have participants respond with lengthy accounts-long stories that appear, on the surface, to have little to do with the question” (Riessman, C.K.  2012).  This quotation is importance in highlighting the importance of relevance between the concept of questions and answers when relating these answers in story form.

Reconstruction –  Also referred to as reauthoring of narrative. This really refers taking the personal narrative statement and recreating it in such a way as to highlight the main points. An example being the high points and the low points in an individuals life.  It is a precis of a particular biographicsal event that is intended to focus on key points in order to capture the readers imagination. Often used in psychotherapy. (McAdams,J.M.2012).

Narrative reconstruction has been more widely adopted by psychologists who are helping patients come to terms with a loss i.e. grief counselling.  It involves talking about the connections or ‘touch points’ with the lost one and how it impacts the life of the surviving partner. The concept of building a story in terms of how to reconstruct  your life in a positive way and move forward.  Coming to terms with grief requires a great deal of empathetic understanding on behalf of the councellor and being able to talk about this in a structured manner is the first step in coming to terms with the loss and gaining acceptance of the situation in order to be able to cope and move on.  (Whiting P, 2012)

References

Eaton, K. (2012, 6 9). Deconstructing the Narrative: Language, Genre, and Experience in. Retrieved from Nobleworld: http://www.nobleworld.biz/images/Eaton.pdf

Ken DeLeon, J. (2012, 6 10). Chapter 8 : The Personal Narrative. Retrieved from Top Law Schools: http://www.top-law-schools.com/chapter8.html

Long Roads Media. (2012, 6 9). Narrative Theory. Retrieved from Long Roads Media: http://www.longroadmedia.com/resources/Narrative%20Theory%20Hand-Out.pdf

McAdams, J. A. (2012, 6 9). Narrative reconstriction of Psychotherapy. Retrieved from North Western University: http://www.sesp.northwestern.edu/docs/publications/106658335347b0761a32bec.pdf

P, W. E. (2012, 6 10). Bearing Witness to the Story: Narrative Reconstruction in Grief Counseling. Retrieved from Vistas 2006 Online: http://counselingoutfitters.com/James.htm

Riessman, C. K. (2012, 6 10). ANALYSIS OF PERSONAL NARRATIVES. Retrieved from Boston University Paper: http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~brooks/storybiz/riessman.pdf

Robins, J. (2008). Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research. New York: Guildford Press.

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