Biographical and Narrative Research in Iberoamerica: Areas of Development and Current Situation


  • Antonio Bolívar Universidad de Granada
  • Jesús Domingo Universidad de Granada



biographical-narrative research, narrative inquiry, (auto)biographical, ethnographic, qualitative research, historical and epistemological development, methodology, characterization, review, panoramic view, Iberoamerican setting


Currently, biographical-narrative inquiry has its identity within qualitative research, and it merits attention. This article reviews and describes the biographical-narrative research origin, development and variants in the social sciences of Iberoamerican countries. It offers a broad overview of this field of investigation, defining the main areas of narrative and (auto)biographical inquiry. In this context, it is opted to do a synchronic and a diachronic approach to the current situation. It is based on development and experienced training in this field: 1) It offers a biographical-narrative research characterization about diverse and heterogeneous modalities, methodological variants, forms and dimensions 2) It highlights the roots and the reasons for the current relevance of this approach in social research in the Iberoamerican setting. 3) It describes the main questions and the approach progression, adopting a prospective point of view. 4) It describes the most relevant orientations, the most noteworthy instruments and the key characteristics that must be present in this type of investigation. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0604125


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Author Biographies

Antonio Bolívar, Universidad de Granada

Antonio BOLÍVAR BOTÍA is a Professor of Didactics and School Organization at the University of Granada. He has a doctorate in Philosophy and Education Sciences. His main areas of research and his publications deal with the moral education of the citizenry, curriculum assessment and teacher training, innovation and curriculum development, organizational development and biographical-narrative research, on which he has published over twenty books and more than one hundred articles. Among the books, we highlight the following: Professional Life Cycles of Secondary School Teachers (Bilbao: Mensajero, 1999) and (with Manuel FERNÁNDEZ CRUZ and Jesús Domingo SEGOVIA) Biographical-narrative Research in Education (Madrid: La Muralla, 2001).

Jesús Domingo, Universidad de Granada

Jesús DOMINGO SEGOVIA has a Doctorate in Philosophy and Education Sciences and is University Professor in the area of Didactics and School Organization, School of Education, University of Granada (Spain). His areas of specialization are curriculum assessment, attention to diversity and the processes of educational and social vulnerability and biographical-narrative methodology. He has published various books and articles, among which we highlight: Advising the Educational Center (Barcelona: Octaedro, 2001) (coordinator) and (with Antonio BOLÍVAR and Manuel FERNÁNDEZ CRUZ) Biographical-narrative Research in Education: A Guide for Researching in the Field (Granada: Force Group and University Editorial Group, 1998).



How to Cite

Bolívar, A., & Domingo, J. (2006). Biographical and Narrative Research in Iberoamerica: Areas of Development and Current Situation. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(4).



Autobiographical, Historical, and Current Perspectives