WP131 Between narrative analysis and narrative inquiry: The long story of small stories research

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This paper presents the disciplinary points of departure, key assumptions and analytical tools of small stories research (e.g. Bamberg 2006; Georgakopoulou 2006, 2007; Bamberg & Georgakopoulou 2008). Small stories research was at first put forth as a counter-move to dominant models of narrative studies that: (a) defined narrative restrictively and on the basis of textual criteria; and (b) privileged a specific type of narrative, in particular the long, relatively uninterrupted, teller-led accounts of past events or of one?s life story, typically elicited in research interview situations. Small stories research has made a case for including in conventional narrative analysis “a gamut of under-represented and ?a-typical? narrative activities, such as tellings of ongoing events, future or hypothetical events, shared (known) events, but also allusions to tellings, deferrals of tellings, and refusals to tell”
(Georgakopoulou 2006: 130). To do so, small stories research draws on an eclectic synthesis of frameworks from diverse disciplinary traditions, including sociolinguistics and biographical studies.