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Narrative is a primary and universal cognitive instrument, found in all cultures. While the kinds of stories people tell vary from culture to culture, the storytelling impulse itself seems to come quite naturally to us—storytelling is a ubiquitous human activity. We tell stories as easily and effortlessly as we grasp the stories of others. Louis Mink (1978) argues that narrative is an irreducible way of making the flux of experience comprehensible to ourselves and to others. Narrative as the practice of storytelling has thus been with us for a long time, and so has narrative theory, which is commonly traced back to Aristotle’s Poetics.

Today, the idea of narrative has found its way into almost every discipline and profession. Since the 1960s, there has been a ...

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