Narrative Study of Lives

Tthe Narrative Study of Lives is a well-established psychological, literary, and social science field based on the premise that we construct our identities with the stories we generate and tell ourselves (and each other) about our relationship to the universe we inhabit.

Stories Become our Idenitites

NSIn a sense, these stories become our identities. Stories are a form our identities take, internally and externally. Psychologist Dan McAdams, in his book The Redemptive Self (2006), describes the internalized life stories people create to make sense of their lives as “narrative identities.” Narrative identities not only strongly contribute to what we do (choices and behaviors), but also what we think is possible for us to do and how we make sense of what we have done or might do.

As symbolic representations, stories can be modified, re-interpreted, and even re- created just as identities are fluid and evolving throughout our lives. This is a powerful idea because it implies that story provides a structure for both organizing and modifying our identities – our understanding of how we fit into and relate to the world – therefore potentially changing our lives or those of our students (in the case of educators).

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