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Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences

Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences

First Edition

February 2008 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
'Riessman updates, expands, and to some degree reconceptualizes her 1993 SAGE book, Narrative Analysis, which has probably been the most cited methodological source for narrative reserach. The new version deserves even greater success than its predecessor....The greatest virtue of Riessman's book, for my taste, is her refusal to reduce method to procedure' - Canadian Journal of Sociology

Catherine Kohler Riessman provides a lively overview of qualitative research based on interpreting stories. Designed to improve research practice, it provides detailed discussions of four analytic methods: thematic analysis, structural analysis, dialogic/performance analysis, and visual narrative analysis.

Broad in scope, Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences offers concrete guidance for students and established scholars wanting to join the "narrative turn" in social research.

Key Features

" Offers guidance for interviewing and transcription: The author discusses the move from spoken language to written transcript. In the process, she encourages students to be mindful of the texts they construct from dialogues in an interview study.

" Includes visual approaches to data gathering: Riessman takes narrative research beyond its historic reliance on word-based materials. She discusses exemplary research that integrates images-both those made during the research process and others found in archives.

" Presents arguments about validation in case-based research: The book presents several ways to think about credibility in narrative studies, contextualizing validity in relation to epistemology and theoretical orientation of a study.

Intended Audience

This text is designed as a supplement to qualitative research courses taught in graduate departments across the social and behavioral sciences, and as a core book in narrative research courses. It is also useful for academics wanting to learn more about narrative methods.

Looking Back, Looking Forward
Constructing Narratives for Research
Thematic Analysis
Structural Analysis
Dialogic Performance Analysis
Visual Analysis
Truths and Cautions

Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences provides an accessible framework for researchers — to analyse narrative texts with confidence, empathy, and humility.

Ron Adams
La Trobe University, Melbourne
Narrative Inquiry

"Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences is a well-written, profoundly useful guide to four of the main narrative methods: (a) oral narratives derived from interviews; (b) narratives derived from archival materials such as diaries, letters, and other documents; (c) ethnographic observations as compiled from field notes; and (d) visual media (in combination with text or not) such as videotaped interactions, paintings, and photographs. Not only is she practical and thoughtful about types of narratives, but even more important are the insights that she provides about the alternative methods of transforming narrative materials into published works. [...T]his excellent work will be indispensible for teachers of graduate courses in narrative and other qualitative methods and for research teams wanting to do first-rate narrative research."

Keith E. Davis

To support those doing narrative methods

Mrs Sue Mesa
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, York St John University
October 6, 2022

Continues to be an excellent resource for narrative research students.

Mrs Tania Wiseman
School of Health Professions, Brighton University
March 15, 2016

useful text for students choosing qualitative methods

Mrs Julia Terry
Department of Nursing, Swansea University
August 27, 2015

Comprehensive, full of examples, a great text for students, and researchers.

Mrs Tania Wiseman
School of Health Professions, Brighton University
December 16, 2014

Still a core book in narrative research.

Mrs Tania Wiseman
School of Health Professions, Brighton University
November 20, 2015

Good additional reading for our RM modules

Mr Pete Holmes
School Of Humanities, Edu, Sport & Socia, Doncaster College
September 1, 2014

This book would be an important text for those who are contemplating using narrative methods as part of further study such as Masters or PhD.

Mrs Nikki Fairchild
Childhood Studies : Early Years, Chichester University
June 12, 2014

This offers useful material for thinking through the process of doing narrative interviews.

Dr Sonya Sharma
Criminology and Sociology, Kingston University
April 10, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

For instructors

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ISBN: 9780761929987

ISBN: 9780761929970