Discourse and narrative

Authored by: Tammy Smith

Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415474450
eBook ISBN: 9780203891377
Adobe ISBN: 9781134026159


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In an article in the Annual Review of Sociology, Roberto Franzosi (1998) asked why sociologists should be concerned with narrative. His answer stressed that social scientists regularly use some form of narrative as data and that narrators’ stories possess rich accounts of action and social relations as embedded in linguistic practice. In contrast to variable-based approaches that impose researchers’ pre-defined categories on subjects’ responses and actions, analyses of narrative and other discursive forms provide clues to a more dynamic understanding of the mechanisms that transmit, maintain, and transform cultural frameworks through which actors derive meaning.

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