Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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  • Attending to the disembodied character in research on professional narratives: How the performance analysis of physically disabled professionals’ personal stories provides insight into the role of the body in narratives of professional identity

  • Author(s): Julie-Ann Scott 1
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    1 University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Source: Narrative Inquiry, Volume 21, Issue 2, Jan 2011, p. 238 - 257
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.21.2.04sco


This essay provides a rationale of how Performance Analysis and Narrative Positioning within research on Physically Disabled Professionals’ Personal Narratives can provide insight into the role of the body in the analysis of professional narratives. Through analyzing the participants’ open-ended narratives as performances in which the narrators draw upon performativities to reconcile the absurdity associated with their deemed ‘unprofessional’ bodies legitimately occupying a professional space, the author traces the emergence of embodied professional heroes in four variations: the Super Hero, Warrior Hero, Tragic Hero, and Rogue Hero, each which illuminates the importance of the body in the construction of personal narratives of professionalism. In conclusion, the author calls for attention to the potential performance of the Anti Hero across personal narratives that emerge in unmarked bodies in order to attend the underlying performativities and discourses of power within all narratives of professionalism.


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