By Dr Nick Hubble;Philip Tew
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Additional info for Ageing, Narrative and Identity: New Qualitative Social Research
15) Such situation models are primarily understood by deploying narrative contextualizations, a process we wished to stimulate in a natural fashion through what Zlatev describes as an ‘intersubjectivity [which] will be taken to be the sharing of affective, perceptual and reflective experience between two or more subjects’ (215). The selected novels presented the FCMAP reading group respondents with extended scenarios, and situations for modelling are therefore entirely suitable as a set of stimuli for thinking through life processes and in evoking such narrative responses intersubjectively situated.
In The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (1967) Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann describe an underlying sense of reality evidenced in ‘phenomena that we recognize as having a being independent of our own volition (we cannot “wish them away”)’ and they ‘define “knowledge” as the certainty that phenomena are real and they possess specific characteristics’ (13). They find such reality quintessentially not in theories of knowledge, but in everyday life interactions and practices, which form ‘the social construction of reality’ (27) where agents are ‘conscious of the world as consisting multiple realities’ (35).
Our assumption in both our research and its analysis is that one must pay attention and give voice to subjects variously, but that the interest in narrative that Elliott notes in order to release its power ‘to be subversive or transformative’ (144) can be a risky and even distorting strategy if the structures developed are too directive, essentially narrow with opinion crudely obtained, as is often the case with questionnaires or semi-structured interviews where the researcher leads the agenda, which is also often the case with inquiry based on supposedly participant observation, and in situations where simply the researchers exude a particular range of ideological commitments in structuring the project’s key parameters and thereby prejudice the outcomes.
Ageing, Narrative and Identity: New Qualitative Social Research by Dr Nick Hubble;Philip Tew