A Narrative-Developmental Approach to Early Emotions
Over the past decades a great deal of attention has been dedicated to the broadening and diversification of the notion of narratives, which lead to a variety of models for narrative analysis and encouraged some to speak of a "narratological renaissance" (e.g., CURRIE, 1998; HERMAN, 1999). However, the application of these concepts to early development has faced a major challenge—the use of narratives (as both a theoretical framework and a methodological tool) to examine psychological processes prior to the acquisition of language. The present contribution offers a systematic approach to examine early emotional development grounded on narrative traditions. I begin by briefly presenting the relevant literature and linking it with the narrative-developmental approach proposed herein. This approach, I contend, implies that narratives and development are inextricably anchored to one another as narratives evolve over time through communication processes. I then describe within the narrative analysis the steps that I have developed to investigate emotions in the context of parent-toddler relationships. Thus, the narrative-developmental approach discussed aims to provide a conceptually grounded qualitative methodology to microscopically investigate the development of emotions and to demonstrate the inherently emergent nature of narratives.
narratives; narrative analysis; development; emotions; processes of change; relationship processes; microscopic investigation; qualitative approach; frames; early development; emergent; mutual amplification