Successful collaboration begins with a shared language, hence the need for a glossary. This joint effort of contributors from several teams ensures, on the one hand, terminological and conceptual coherence across not only our theoretical approaches, but also the qualitative case studies and quantitative research conducted in OPPORTUNITIES. On the other hand, our glossary facilitates communication between the academic side of the project and the fieldwork conducted by NGOs, uniting our teams working from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Senegal.

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A subset of discourse analysis (although not typically framed as such), narrative analysis is the reasoned study of the way in which storytellers shape meaning by building on culturally circulating ideas and forms. Narrative analysis is not limited to a specific medium but examines narratives across the range of media in which stories can be told, from oral conversation to novels and video games. The framework of narrative analysis has been developed since the 1950s by literary scholars and semioticians and, in parallel, by sociolinguists working in the wake of William Labov (1972). Like discourse analysis, narrative analysis focuses on interactions between story and context, where context is defined broadly as the existing narrative forms and techniques adopted by the storyteller, as well as the ideological assumptions with which he or she is in dialogue. From this perspective, the specific genre (e.g., tragedy or horror fiction) in which a story is positioned reflects its larger context. The evaluations voiced or implied by the storyteller are also a part of the narrative’s embedding in a certain context. Although content and form go hand in hand in the narrative production of meaning, narrative analysis places particular emphasis on the how of story – that is, how embracing specific narrative techniques steers meaning in significant (if easily overlooked) ways.

⇢ see also Discourse analysis, NarrativeNarrative analysis, Narrative common goodNarrative dilemma, Narrative dynamics, Narrative ecology, Narrative equity, Narrative goods, Narrative identity, Narrative integrity, Narrative market, Narrative technique, Narratives on migration

References and further reading:

Herman, Luc, and Bart Vervaeck. 2005. Handbook of Narrative Analysis. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

Labov, William. 1972. Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Category: A

Work Package: 2, 5