Constructing constructions of relational knowledge: Suggestions for a Narrative-Discursive Analysis

Viv Burr, Marco Gemingnani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter argues for and presents an innovative method for the analysis of narrative data, Narrative-Discursive Analysis (NDA). Narrative Inquiry (NI) refers to research methods that, typically, elicit narrative accounts from participants which are analysed to reveal themes about the participant’s subjectivity and experience. However, this often neglects the genealogical, cultural, and discursive contexts in which narratives are constructed and told, particularly the network of power relations within which this takes place. Foucaultian Discourse Analysis (FDA) attends to such issues. This focuses upon analysing texts to identify the discourses circulating within society, privileging some forms of knowledge and ways of being over others. However, although discourses bring implications for subjectivity, FDA does not examine people’s experiential worlds. This dichotomy between the personal and the social characterises western thinking and we regard it as erroneous; the individual is always an interweaving of both the personal and the social, and always in flux, always becoming. Adopting this position leads us to seek ways of analysing narrative material that recognise both its personal and social origins. NDA is a unique synthesis of FDA and NI and the chapter illustrates its key assumptions through two case studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Innovative Qualitative Psychological Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Oct 2022


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