Narrative analysis is a valuable data analysis technique in qualitative research. It is typically used in those studies which have already employed narrative inquiry as a qualitative method. Narrative knowledge is created and constructed through the stories of lived experience and sense-making, the meanings people afford to them, and therefore offers valuable insight into the complexity of human lives, cultures, and behaviours. Narrative analysis uses the ‘story’ as the unit of analysis, in contrast to thematic and other forms of qualitative analysis.
Narrative analysis is useful for practitioners and researchers who wish to focus on individual experiences, eg. via collected stories and unstructured interviews. Examples of possible applications include case studies; patients’ experiences of health care services or illness; life stories and experiences of social care clients; victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system.
By the end of the workshop participants will:
Have knowledge of narrative analysis as a qualitative data analysis technique.
- Be aware of the relationship between narrative inquiry in qualitative research and narrative analysis.
- Be aware of the different models of narrative analysis.
- Understand the benefits which narrative analysis offers for interpreting and making sense of ‘whole’ stories.
- Have conducted their own narrative analysis using a selection of the various models covered in the workshop.
- Be aware of the research contexts in which narrative analysis is potentially valuable and effective.
During the course we will cover:
What is narrative analysis?
- Models of narrative analysis
- Codes, patterns, themes and categories
‘Narrative meaning’ and ‘narrative smoothing’ (Etherington, 2004)
- Interpretations of ‘faith’ and ‘suspicion’
- Narrative analysis in narrative genres and arts-based inquiry
- Practicing conducting your own narrative analysis
Who will benefit?
This advanced training course is relevant for those who have undertaken the SRA foundation course on Narratives and Storytelling (or similar course), or who have already completed their own narrative inquiry. It will benefit participants who wish to advance their knowledge of qualitative research methods by exploring the benefits that narrative analysis offers in a range of applied and policy settings and contexts.
**Prior knowledge of qualitative research methods and storytelling and narrative inquiry is advisable.
Understand what we mean by narrative analysis and interpretation.
- Have knowledge of different models of narrative analysis.
- Understand the relationship between qualitative research, narrative inquiry, and narrative analysis and how this informs selection of model of narrative analysis.
- Be able to undertake a narrative analysis as evidenced in practical activities.
Dr Karen Lumsden is a sociologist and criminologist at the University of Aberdeen, UK. She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Aberdeen and has held a number of academic posts including Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham, Associate Professor at the University of Leicester, and at Loughborough University. She has over 15 years’ experience teaching qualitative research methods to doctoral students, academics, practitioners and social researchers. This includes courses at the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Essex, Kingston, Bristol, Cardiff, and for the Social Research Association. Karen has also designed and delivered research methods training for police officers and staff via the East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) and for research consultancies. She has authored a number of academic books and journal articles on qualitative research methods and is on the Editorial Board of the Qualitative Research journal.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme