Narrative Research

  • Kayi NtindaEmail author
Reference work entry


Narrative research aims to unravel consequential stories of people’s lives as told by them in their own words and worlds. In the context of the health, social sciences, and education, narrative research is both a data gathering and interpretive or analytical framework. It meets these twin goals admirably by having people make sense of their lived health and well-being in their social context as they understand it, including their self-belief-oriented stories. Narrative research falls within the realm of social constructivism or the philosophy that people’s lived stories capture the complexities and nuanced understanding of their significant experiences. This chapter presents a brief overview of the narrative research approaches as forms of inquiry based on storytelling and premised on the truth value of the stories to best represent the teller’s life world. The chapter also discusses data collection, analysis, and presentation utilizing narrative analysis. In doing so, this chapter provides illustrative examples applying narrative-oriented approaches to research in the health and social sciences. The chapter concludes by outlining the importance of narrative research to person-centric investigations in which the teller-informant view matters to the resulting body of knowledge.


Collaboration Lived experience Intersubjectivity Life world Narrative inquiry Storytelling Meaning-making 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of Educational counselling and Mixed-methods Inquiry Approaches, Faculty of Education, Office C.3.5University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni CampusManziniSwaziland

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