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Narrative Theory

Developing Narrative Theory: life histories and personal representation

Narrativity, Learning and Flexibility: towards the narrative future

Because we are all plugging ourselves into one great electronic mind, we will gradually lose the sense of each being shut off in a private mental space … our mental sense will be out there and as with Facebook, everyone will have access to it. (Booth, 13 January 2008: 43)

In this way, patterns of selfhood are changing, and with it the very nature of human beingness. Once our narratives were reconstructed, at least in part, within the mental space of our internal conversations; now they are interactively negotiated in cyberspace. The centrality of individual narratives in the new politics, the economy and the new technological arena points to their absolutely vital role in negotiating our social future. This in itself is an argument for understanding our narrative characters more acutely and perfecting how we employ and deploy our narrative resources. As Sennett and Cobb wrote long ago: ‘Fragmentation and divisions in the self are the arrangements consciousness makes in response to an environment where respect is not forthcoming as a matter of course’ (Sennett and Cobb 1972: 214).

This is precisely and exactly the environment in which people now often live. In order to fight against this narrative seizure of the new world order, it is therefore vital that we understand our narrative capacities and resources. Our ‘narrative capital’ needs to be employed and deployed to link our personal narratives to narratives of wider social purpose. Moreover, our narrative capital will need to be deployed in the recurrent ‘re-selfing’ that the new flexible economies will demand. In the new social future, our narrative capacities hold one of the keys to the shape our world will take.

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  • Date of publication: 10/09/2012
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 160
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Subject:
    Curriculum Studies, Narrative Theory
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  • Appears in:
    Developing Narrative Theory: life histories and personal representation
  • Number of editions: 1
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: £22.99
  • ISBN: 978-0-415-60362-1
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  • Price of e-book: £22.99
  • E-book ISBN: 978-0-203-81770-4
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