Biographical narrative interviewing workshop (1. Narrative landscape -…
Biographical narrative interviewing workshop
European biographical sociology research group
Backdrop in post II WW Germany, the stories of the war
Stories that cannot be told are the most important ones
Role of silence
Power - whose stories can be told, who can tell those stories
If you make yourself up as you go and there is no challenge to your story, the story becomes your internalised reality.
is the roadmap tool more meaningful to me than what it would be to the research participant? could they bring an object to the interview that is meaningful to them, ie. a photograph?
sociologists ramraid when collecting data
social science research is observing or interviewing people about how are they doing
1. Narrative landscape
- oral, performative histories
Rivers made by snakes in aboriginal dreamtime
What kind of narrative landscape occupies a person?
To what extent are we directed by cultural narrative landscapes
Multiple stories of self
Some stories are embraced, others are disregarded
The self is a centre of
2. narrative gravity
Body, place, time, action
What is my focus?
How much is your narrative landscape tied to your place of origin and growing up (North East of England, UK?)
The narrative construction/ performance of identity: Individual, cultural, national political, religious, family, community, organisational or professional narratives
How are our narratives reshaped by globalisation, influences of technology for example?
Limits of sight - things around you
Narrative is interdisciplinary
The big question: What is consciousness?
Semi-structured interviews deploy preconceived notions of interviewer's views
multiple streams of consciousness
Principles of narrative interviewing
Learn to live with silence
play back the last thing the interviewee said rather than ask a new question or ask a very open question (can you tell me a bit more about that)
if interviewee is asking permission to tell more, encourage them to tell their story
(the reason I did this),
(telling a story, tone of voice changes goes slightly down, physiological change (tears, colouration of face)
(key words): topic change, changes in language (text, analysis, narrative), silence
That's it, that's the story = end of topic for interviewee
Structure of the interview: 1. Tell me your story. 2. Tell me more about this topic. 3. Semi-structured questions, open-ended, either prepared or what you realise during the interview.
Use two recorders
Tell me your story. Whatever you tell me is okay (related to your volunteering)
Pets, partners, TV, can you tell someone how to behave in their own home?
What's the best narrative landscape to conduct the interview?
What ifs, ethical considerations
Concluding question: How do you feel about these things now?
Who can interview who? > Intersectionality > Power relations
DAY 2: Narrative analysis (social psychology, social constructionism, anthropology, neuroscience)
Question: Thematic analysis with narratives?
"Locating a subjectivity in its historical (and societal?) location"
How people interpret and construct their world
how are personal and volunteer identities formed in contemporary landscapes
Working with people's stories to elicit political or social change
Focus of analysis: place, time body, action (?)
Story might be meaningless without a place
Biographical narrative = fact based story
Gathering historical data from participants, pitting them against historical events, what is talked about and what is not talked about
: Contrastive comparisons of life history (LGBT+ history in the UK, see LGBT section in the library) and life story
what other choices were open or possible that never were
comparisons between what has been and what is at the moment
Distinction between lived life and told story
Norman Denzin (epiphany moments) pianonopettajat
Denzin's moments of A History of Qualitative Research - note the developments and where you place youtself in the timeline of qualitative research
Narrative transcripts include silences, pauses, loudness, tone of voice
Don't go into double figures in biographical narrative interviews (see Tom Weingraf website)
Scheff's 'part / whole ladder 1997
Single words and gestures
Relationships of the two parties
Life histories of the two parties
All relationships of their type
The structure of the host society
The history and future of the host civilization
The history and destiny of the human species
Additional ladder by John Given: Silence
Beyond the Archive book
Chicago school (ethnic neighborhoods)
ROADMAP: send beforehand, plainer is better
Oral history Newcastle Uni public lecture 26/3/2019 Paula Hamilton
Narrative wreckage due to violent events
The difference between past and present: past and present collide, past is not dumb
Past has moved closer to the present
Ind stories part of larger cultural stories
I have never told anyone about this before
History ends at the front door. Active process of not telling, stories waiting to be activated
Limit of oral history: Self-selected story