Discourse Studies is the largest, most complete, most diverse and only multidisciplinary introduction to the field. Now combined into a single volume, this essential handbook:
is fully updated from start to finish to cover contemporary debates and research literature; covers everything from grammar, narrative, argumentation, cognition and pragmatics to social, political and critical approaches; adds two new chapters on ideology and identity; puts the student at the center, offering brand new features such as worked examples, sample analyses and recommended further reading
Written and edited by world-class scholars in their fields, it is the essential, one-stop companion for any student of discourse analysis and discourse studies.
Chapter Four: Narrative in Everyday Life
Narrative in Everyday Life
The Scope of Narrative
In the search for what distinguishes the human species, the use of narrative to decipher human existence is significant. We might even say that humans display a narrative instinct, which motivates the flourishing of an array of narrative genres in each community. And why does narrative merit this status? James (1904) characterized subjective experience as a quasi-chaos, while Kundera (1995) despairingly compared the present moment to walking in a fog. Only afterwards do we grapple with the contours and meaning of an experience, with narrative as the universal yet imperfect medium to this end. The rub is that experience becomes linguistically and socio-culturally transformed through narrative genres and through the activity of recounting experiences for, ...