KISS225 Narrative Method & Epistemology

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Franklin-Wilkins Building



United Kingdom

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Please note: This course is only open to registered PhD students, with preference given to those at London-based institutions.  If you show up to this course without being registered, you will be denied entry. You'll be asked to provide your student number and other information for registration on this site and need to bring your student card when you attend the first session of the course. It is essential that you prepare for the course, doing any required readings and preparation mentioned below.  If after booking you later find you cannot attend this course, please cancel your place as soon as possible using this Eventbrite system. 

Course convenors: Dr Kirstie Coxon ( & Dr Rosamund Snow

Time: 15:00-17:00


11 November 2016- 2.45 Franklin Wilkins Building, KCL Waterloo campus

25 November 2016- 2.48 Franklin Wilkins Building

28 November 2016- 2.48 Franklin Wilkins Building

2 December 2016- 2/19 Waterloo Bridge Wing, KCL Waterloo campus

Narrative methods provide new ways of thinking about data for researchers working with individual, first-hand accounts such as interview research or diaries. This course aims to explore the principles and practice of narrative research. It is intended to be valuable to students of health and social science disciplines, but may also have application in related fields. During the course, we will explore the range of approaches which are described under the banner of ‘narrative methods’, and consider how these approaches and ways of thinking about knowledge differ from each other, and from other forms of qualitative enquiry. We will also consider the practical application of narrative methods and their implication for data collection and analysis.  Our own work is in health research but we draw on examples and literature from a range of disciplines, and we welcome students from different subject areas who are considering the application of narrative methods to their research.


Overview of narrative methods: From storytelling to structure and back again.


Finding narrative: Using narrative approaches to identify and interpret narratives within text


Narrative case study 1


Narrative case study 2

In the third and fourth sessions, we will work through published examples of narrative analysis and relate these to our own work, and to students’ work, providing participants with an opportunity to gain hands-on skills and to critique the method and its application.

Reading List:

Bruner J. (2001) Self Making and World Making. In Brockmeier J. & Carbaugh D. (Eds.) (2001) Narrative and Identity: Studies in Autobiography, Self and Culture. Vol 1. Benjamins, Amsterdam (pp 25-38).

Bruner J. (1990) Acts of Meaning. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, USA and London.

Bruner J. (1991) The Narrative Construction of Reality. Critical Inquiry 18(1).

Bury M. (2001) Illness narratives: fact or fiction? Sociology of Health and Illness 23(3), 263-285.

Frank W. (1995) The Wounded Storyteller University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.

*Riessman, C.K. (1993) Narrative Analysis. California, Sage

*Riessman, C.K. (2008) Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences, London Sage.

Somers M.R. (1994) The Narrative Constitution of Identity: A Relational and Network Approach Theory and Society 23(5), 605-649.

Familiarity with Riessman’s (1993) short introduction to narrative analysis will be useful. References for papers and resources to be used in later sessions will be provided in the first session.

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