Why might you use narrative methodology? A story about narrative

Lynn McAlpine


Narrative is one of many qualitative methodologies that can be brought to bear in collecting and analysing data and reporting results, though it is not as frequently used as say in case studies. This article provides a window into its use, from the perspective of a researcher who has used it consistently over the past decade to examine early career researcher experience – doctoral students, and those who have completed their degrees and are advancing their careers. This experience has contributed to a robust understanding of the potential of narrative, as well as its limitations. This paper first lays out the broad landscape of narrative research and then makes transparent the thinking, processes and procedures involved in the ten-year narrative study including the potential for creativity that narrative invites. The goal is to engage other researchers to consider exploring the use of narrative – if it aligns with their epistemological stance.


qualitative methodology, narrative research, creativity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12697/eha.2016.4.1.02b


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ISSN: 2346-562X

Journal DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/issn2346-562X