Narratives—the stories people tell—provide a rich source of information about how people make sense of their lives, about how they construct disparate facts and weave them together cognitively to make sense of reality. Narrative analysis is particularly useful in providing insight on the cognitive process and on the role of culture in shaping any human universals.

We begin by defining narrative as a concept and as a methodological tool in social science. We provide intellectual background on how narrative developed in literary theory and how it has been applied in cognitive analysis. We then discuss narratives as sites of cultural contestation and the role of narrative in the construction of social theory. We conclude on a note of caution, suggesting the need for care when interpreting narratives.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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