You are here

Reflexive Narrative

Reflexive Narrative
Self-Inquiry Toward Self-Realization and Its Performance

First Edition

April 2020 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Reflexive Narrative: Self-Inquiry Toward Self-Realization and Its Performance is latest addition to the Qualitative Research Methods series. Author Christopher Johns describes this unique method and its developmental approach to research to enable researchers’ self-realization however that might be expressed. This method focuses on systematizing the reflective process and providing structure while still remaining flexible to the needs of individual researchers and projects. Researchers collect data through reflections on everyday experiences and then selectively use the evidence of researcher’s insights. The text starts out with a brief introduction to narrative research and reflexivity, situating the method within the larger context of organizational practices. The next chapters introduce the steps for reflexive narrative research and walk readers through the movements of the reflexive narrative process, writing, reflection, dialogue, guidance, weaving, and audiencing. Additional coverage of ethics and research examples provide a foundation for application of the method to individual research. A chapter on structuring the method for a doctoral thesis furthers the applied nature of this method. Three extracts from studies provide research examples across several social science disciplines, including nursing and education. For students and researchers alike looking for new approaches to reflexive methods and looking to expand their ideas about self-research in a qualitative context, Reflexive Narrative provides a starting place for their own examination of self in the context of research.
About the Author
Chapter 1: Contempt: A Barrier to Realizing Leadership

The Narrative


Chapter 2: The Reflexive Narrative Bricolage
Reflexive Narrative

The Research Spectrum


Reflective Theory

Critical Social Science


Narrative Theory

Feminist Slant

Women’s Ways of Knowing

Non-Western Influence

Literary Theory



Chapter 3: The Six Dialogical Movements
The Six Dialogical Movements


The Hermeneutic Spiral



Chapter 4: Writing Self: The First Dialogical Movement

Mimesis and Anti-Mimesis


Journal Descriptions



Chapter 5: Structured Reflection: The Second Dialogical Movement
Structured Reflection


Applying the MSR Cues



Chapter 6: Drawing Tentative Insights
Conceptual Maps

The Framing Perspectives

Developmental Framing



Chapter 7: Cocreating Insights
Dialogue With Extant Knowledge: The Third Dialogical Movement

Guidance: The Fourth Dialogical Movement

The Community of Inquiry

No Formal Guidance



Chapter 8: Weaving the Reflexive Narrative: The Fifth Dialogical Movement
Narrative Time Span

Being Creative

Magical Realism

Writing From the Body

Showing Versus Telling

Using Tense and Dialogue

Giving Voice to Others

Using Metaphor

Images and Art


Writing for Performance



Chapter 9: Through a Glass Darkly

Through a Glass Darkly Narrative


Chapter 10: Coherence and Ethics

Eyes of Knowing


The Validity Question

Rhizomatic Validity



Chapter 11: Audiencing: The Sixth Dialogical Movement



Chapter 12: Structuring the Reflexive Thesis
Chapter 1 Background

Chapter 2 Narrative Construction

Chapter 3 The Reflexive Narrative

Chapter 4 Deepening the Insights

Chapter 5 Reflection on the Journey

MSc Leadership in Health Care

PhD Program

PhD Studies

Chapter 13: Concluding Words
Appendix A: Illustration of Adenike Akinbode’s Reflexive Narrative Writing
Appendix B: Extract From Margaret Graham’s Reflexive Narrative Thesis
Appendix C: Reflexive Narrative Publications

“The author has put a lot of thought and attention into this work. It is very much appreciated. This is the way the field can advance.” 

Doris M. Boutain
University of Washington School of Nursing

“The manuscript is rich with the author's experience and reads well.”

Kevin D. Cordi, Ph.D
Ohio University Lancaster

“The author is clearly an expert in the research design with her vast wealth of experience.” 

Dale Crowe
College of Doctoral Studies University of Phoenix

“The author's voice is one that commands respect, connection, inspiration, and stimulation. The argument and idea of the book are strong, and highly merit publication.”

Kristin D. Phillips
Emory University

“There is a great need for texts on this subject” 

Mary Clisbee, EdD
Partners In Health

For instructors

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.

With SAGE Research Methods, researchers can explore their chosen method across the depth and breadth of content, expanding or refining their search as needed; read online, print, or email full-text content; utilize suggested related methods and links to related authors from SAGE Research Methods' robust library and unique features; and even share their own collections of content through Methods Lists. SAGE Research Methods contains content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, the entire “Little Green Book,” and "Little Blue Book” series, two Major Works collating a selection of journal articles, and specially commissioned videos.