Living Stories: The Role of the Researcher in the Narration of Life

Ainslie Yardley


Narrative inquiry has the advantage of being able to reveal the "inner life" of the analytical text that is usually obscured—a powerful addition to the researcher's toolbox. The interpretive character of narrative takes us beyond reportage and recording of data. This contribution discusses ethical questions emerging from taking a narrative turn in social research, and asks, "Who owns stories once they are told? Can the telling of a "true" story always be considered ethically sound?"
The shaping and ownership of meaning is a crucial consideration for researchers in cross-disciplinary domains and cannot be isolated from aesthetic considerations—whether a story sounds good or adds weight to an argument. This article deals with ethical considerations as they relate to specific work with specific people, and with how engagement in creative processes in research becomes a contributing element in the ethical life of the narrator.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs080337


narrative inquiry; ethics; autobiography; embodied stories; creativity; extended consciousness; storytelling; social research

Full Text:


Copyright (c) 1970 Ainslie Yardley

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.