Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1053-6981
  • E-ISSN: 2405-9374
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AbstractThere is an inevitable connection between reduction-our need to simplify and order-and representation-our dependence on words and images to stand for what we see and feel. Using divorce as an example, I examine the consequences of three forms of representation and compare what we learn from symptom counts, from lists of marital complaints, and from narrative accounts of mar-riage. All three forms involve reduction and selection, but narratives privilege the teller's language and way of organizing experience into talk. Yet narrative theory has been constrained by its primary focus on the story. Drawing on research interviews, I display various genres within the narrative medium: habit-ual and hypothetical narratives and an approach-avoidance narrative, in addi-tion to stories. Each has a distinctive style and structure and each persuades differently. As a way of dealing with the reductionism of narrative theory, we need to open up our definitions of narrative to include these and other forms. (Qualitative Sociology)


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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