“Readers will find Dennis K. Mumby's collection most useful for the connections it establishes between narrative analysis, in social setting and postmodern light…. What is important about this book is the range of projects presented using narrative to examine issues of power and control.” --Discourse and Society What is the relationship between narrative, society, and the forms of control that function in society? This critical analysis examines the role of narrative in the creation of various social realities in a variety of communication contexts. The central theme of Narrative and Social Control is that narrative is a pervasive form of human communication that is integral to the production and shaping of social order. Each chapter provides both a theoretical framework and an examination of narratives in a range of communication contexts--interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mass mediated--illustrating the far-reaching impact of narrative on our lives and social organizations. This critical perspective is essential reading for scholars, students, and professionals in communication studies, organization studies, family studies, cultural studies, sociology, political science, peace studies, anthropology, philosophy, and gender studies.

Introduction: Narrative and Social Control

Introduction: Narrative and Social Control

Introduction: Narrative and social control
Dennis K.Mumby

This introduction gives me the opportunity to provide the reader with some insight into the orientation of this book. Although ostensibly its title might appear fairly self-explanatory (it is about how narratives function as a form of social control in diverse communication contexts), at a more fundamental level there are a host of issues embedded in the tide that belie its simplicity. Many readers will no doubt have been attracted to this book because of the appearance of the term narrative in the title. Indeed, Walter Fisher's (1984, 1985) invocation of a “narrative paradigm” has alerted many scholars to the possibilities inherent in the development of a more literary, aesthetic approach to human communication. The ...

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