“In taking up the topic of ethics and narrative inquiry, The Narrative Study of Lives rightfully establishes itself as the site where the most critical theoretical, methodological, and interpretive work on narrative in the human disciplines is now occurring. The editor and the contributors to this volume are to be thanked for their deeply probing, forward-looking analyses of the ethical problems that arise when researchers produce narratives about persons with whom close personal relationships have been formed.” --Norman K. Denzin, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign “All of us who work with life-history narratives are grateful to Dr. Josselson and her colleagues for moving us step-by-step toward a discipline with definable ethics and methodology, and at the same time holding up for us the incredible diversity of ...
Chapter 4: Personal Vulnerability and Interpretive Authority in Narrative Research
Personal Vulnerability and Interpretive Authority in Narrative Research
All research based on in-depth interviews raises ethical and process issues, but narrative research demands that we pay special attention to participants’ vulnerability and analysts’ interpretive authority.
Sociologists who use methods of narrative analysis to interpret in-depth interviews focus on how individuals’ stories embody general cultural processes or phenomena. We often select a small group of stories from a larger collection to serve as examples of the processes we want to study, and in our writing, we present those examples fully to demonstrate the relationship between specific stories and the cultural context. Thus research participants easily recognize themselves in our texts and readers who know them may recognize them, too, ...