The interface work of narrative

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The article explores further Lyra (1999) and Hermans’ (1999, 2001a, 2001b) glossing of complexity terminology within analysis of identity formation, taking a particular interest in differing uses of narrative within identity negotiations. Lyra (1999) draws attention to the importance of using an extended time frame to assess the power dynamics involved within any communicative exchange. The fragments of speech often under consideration in academic texts often preclude an appreciation of such groundwork. This article looks at a group discussion in terms of preceding ethnographic material that contextualises it within a larger socio-educational history. A mapping methodology first traces the power dynamics and different moments of dialogical activity (Lyra, 1999) across the discussion and then details the stances depicted within narratives which have a correspondence to Hermans’ (2001a, 2001b) I-stances. Initially, condensed narratives confirm each other. Subsequently, partial versions of narratives voice divergence. Boje’s (2007) concept of ante-narratives aids the analysis of these latter discursive moves and their role as exploratory devices for considering possible future identity strategies. Taken together these maps contribute to an understanding of selves as dynamic systems (Lyra, 2007, p. 180) tasked with creating coherency and yet responding creatively to uncertainty (Hermans, 2001a).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-194
Number of pages20
JournalCulture & Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • dialogic framework
  • dynamic systems
  • education
  • identity
  • narrative


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