Piecing Together—A Methodological Bricolage

  • Ainslie Yardley University of Western Sydney
Keywords: narrative, narrative inquiry, interpretive tools, multi-textual inquiry, methodology, digital mapping, creativity, bricolage


The use of narrative, reflective, and creative processes as interpretive tools has been considered by many critics to be naïvely humanistic and even romantically impulsive. This contribution challenges those views by putting performative research methods into practice—using the method to test the methodology. The meta-text, in which embedded texts (visual, audio-visual and literary) challenge, inform and enhance each other's meaning, has at its heart a digital mapping system that acts as a guiding link that provides alternative interpretive angles and mediating possibilities. The inclusion here of many kinds of text acknowledges that there are multiple ways in which human cognitive networks process information and make creative leaps. This contribution directly presents the case for multi-layered narrative inquiry as a paradigm of ethical activity. The researcher is seen here as a bricoleur, a maker of patchwork, a weaver of stories; one who assembles a theoretical montage through which meaning is constructed and conveyed according to a narrative ethic that is neither naïvely humanistic, nor romantically impulsive—but rather one that stimulates an inclusive and dynamic dialogue between the researcher and her audience. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0802315


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Author Biography

Ainslie Yardley, University of Western Sydney
Dr. Ainslie YARDLEY (Master of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, PhD, University of Western Sydney, 2006) is a novelist, theatre artist, non-fiction author, and digital multi-media essayist. Her current work focuses on embodied creativity, and the role narrative plays in consciousness and communication. Her work in community has included youth theatre productions and projects with refugee claimants from many areas of conflict throughout the world. She has worked with the Australian AIDS Memorial QUILT Project, the Bosnian Community Choir in Brisbane and a number of multi-media projects in mental health institutions, frequently in collaboration with director, John BAILEY. Dr. YARDLEY has lectured in Cultural Ecology and Production Management. She is currently working on research with the Social Justice and Social Change research Centre at the University of Western Sydney.
How to Cite
Yardley, A. (2008). Piecing Together—A Methodological Bricolage. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-9.2.416