Analyzing biographies and narratives

Contributors Graham R Gibbs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


(Continued) communication and has been criticized for considering simply style or appear-ances ('mere rhetoric'), Aristotle's book on the subject presented a systematiza-tion, mUch developed in later centuries, of the forms of rhetorical argument. This included, for example, the well-known rhetorical question -asked not because an answer is wanted but for rhetorical effect such as to emphasize that even being able to ask it is reprehensible ('How many times do I have to tell you?'), Despite the criticisms that it focuses on form not content, rhetoric is actually just as much concerned with what one could say as how one might say it, Indeed, a basic premise for rhetoric is the indivisibility of means from meaning; how one says something conveys meoning as much as what one says. This list illustrates what has been added to qualitative research by the investi-gation of narrative and biography. It has both focused attention on how people make the points they do, and it gives access to how they wish to portray them-selves, how they give account for their actions and their lives. Shared expressions and shared vocabulary and metaphors can tell us a lot about how social groups see themselves and how they account for their experiences (see Box 5.2).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnalyzing qualitative data
PublisherSAGE Publications
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780761949800
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series



Dive into the research topics of 'Analyzing biographies and narratives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this