Narrative Hermeneutics: In Search of Narrative Data
Scandinavian journal of caring sciences 2010 Dec; 24 Suppl 1: 32-7
As human beings, we live in a storied world. This worldview requires us to think about how to re-present it in research. My purpose with this article is to reflect upon narratives from an ontological and epistemological point of view, taking Ricoeur's writings on narrative identity as a starting point. From this perspective, narration is an aspect of self-interpretation and self-understanding. Furthermore, self-understanding is not only achieved within our own narratives, but depends upon the regard, words and actions of others. This must be accounted for in our search for narrative data. Researchers would benefit from being alert to this and also aware of how narratives are co-authored in a dialogue with participants. Reflections on narration from this perspective could guide ethical considerations - and also methodological - as they could support questions that would create space for the narrative. Furthermore, the researcher must be aware that the quality and trustworthiness of narratives to a high degree depend on the researcher and not only on the participant.
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