Open Access Review Article

Narrative Inquiry in Qualitative and Feminist Research: The Power of Story

Keefe JM1 and Fisher KL2*

1Holistic Coaching and Energy Medicine, USA

2School of Nursing, MCPHS University, USA

Corresponding Author

Received Date: November 25, 2019;  Published Date: January 08, 2020


Narrative medicine or narrative therapy can be an approach to healing in the clinical setting; it is the work of the co-creating of meaning with persons who are in relationship: one of clinician and client, or with partnerships of the giver of care, and the receiver of care. There are also the phenomena of using narrative methods in pedagogy, in the transformative teaching of therapeutic presence by using activities of close, deep reading, or exercises of active listening with each other. The power of Story as a narrative inquiry has been supported as a methodology for re-search in nursing according to Wang & Geale [1]. According to Chou, et al. [2], a Story makes the implicit to be explicit, the hidden to be seen, the unformed now formed, and the confusing more clear. The narrative process can describe individuals’ experiences that are constantly shifting meanings. The storytellers construct and share their Stories with their own perception of the experience for the purpose of narrative inquiry to reveal the meaning of the individuals’ experiences [1]. Wang & Geale [1] further state, that Stories heal and soothe the body and spirit, provide hope and the courage to explore and grow. The process of storytelling, a fundamental element in narrative inquiry, provides the opportunity for dialogue and personal reflection, each intertwined and cyclical.

Novelist Henry James reminds us that “expression” connotes putting sensations and perceptions into words and a process of delivering the essence of something into view [3]. Hence, the subject and meaning of what gets expressed comes simultaneously from the one writing or telling a story. The representational act requires the expressive force and creativity of the writer along with the contained meaning of that which is now in view, unifying unseen and seen in the creation of the text. What emerges as a written text might be a prose paragraph, a poem, a scenic dialogue, a diary entry, or a letter which, when examined closely by readers or listeners, conveys its meaning by both its content and its form. The spoken words of a story can be recorded and later reflected upon the meaning of the narrative [3].

Keywords: Narrative inquiry; Storytelling; Feminist; Qualitative research

Signup for Newsletter
Scroll to Top