Theoretical reflections on narrative in action research
Every second, every minute, every hour of our daily interactions are embedded in narratives. Some authors have even defined us as human narrators, and others have emphasized that our deepest feelings, our love for our families, friends, and communities take place in narratives. We profoundly agree with this line of thought. We are passionate about narratives, especially with the potential that they have to create for collaborations in action research that can surprise us and change our lives.
Change our lives? Indeed, because we may get new experiences from such collaborations. And through such experiences, we may bring better solutions to unsolved problems. So, we would be co-creating new knowledge, new realities, and even a new version of ourselves. Then, could not be narratives a powerful instrument for action research? Of course, yes! Yet, even though such answer may at first appear obvious, the truth is that the use of narrative as method to action research remains a little contentious. In this article, we reflect on this issue, paying special attention to the main elements in the process of narrative knowing (making) and narrative telling (communicating). In order to use narratives appropriately in action research we need to understand narratives’ form and function. Such understanding can help us to clearly appreciate the value of the friendly attitude embedded in the empathy-laden narrative process for facilitating the reflective, participative and democratic practice embedded in action research.
Blog post provided by Nuria Toledano
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