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Although the study of narrative goes back as far as Aristotle's Poetics, narrative theory emerged as a distinct field of inquiry only in the second half of the twentieth century. At that point, work on the theory of the novel intersected with structuralism's project of writing the grammar of stories and storytelling. This intersection in turn opened out to other streams of traffic in narrative studies, including the analysis of oral narrative by sociolinguists; reflections on historical narrative by historiographers; and the varied investigations of film scholars, among others. In the early twenty-first century many other disciplinesmedicine, law, business, and psychoanalysis, prominent among themboth draw upon and contribute to narrative theory (see sidebar). In this respect, contemporary interdisciplinary thought has undergone a "narrative turn."

From Novel to Narrative

The most influential figures in the early theorizing of the novel were novelists themselves, particularly Henry James (18431916) and E. M. Forster (18791970). In "The Art of Fiction" (1888) and in the Prefaces to the New York Edition of his novels (19091910), James describes and defends his own novelistic practice. He argues that the artistry of the novel depends on its representation of "felt life," and, in the Prefaces, he describes, often with rich, extended metaphors, how he came to view the "treatment" (the technique) of his novels as even more important than their "subject" (their characters and situations). More specifically, James explains why he came to prefer the technique of narrating from the consciousness of his central character(s): such treatment highlights the impression of felt life even as it allows him to offer fresh ways of exploring his subjects. James's distinction between treatment and subject is a distinction between the how and the what of the novel that reappears in some form in every major theoretical approach to narrative. James's specific preferences soon became codified by his followers into a set of rules for good novelistic practice: use scenes rather than narrative summaries because they are more impersonal and objective; narrate from the perspective of a central consciousness rather than from the perspective of an external narrator because that treatment involves less rhetoric and more artistry. In short: show, don't tell.

If James is the theorist of treatment (the how), Forster is the theorist of character (one element of the what). In Aspects of the Novel (1927), he introduces a distinction between "round" and "flat" characters that is still frequently cited in the early 2000s: Round characters are capable of surprising in a convincing way, while flat characters can be summed up in a single sentence. Forster also distinguishes between story and plot (see sidebar), viewing the first as a kind of necessary evil ("yes, oh dear, yes, the novel tells a story"), and the second with its inclusion of causality as what makes the recounting of events worthwhile. But he regards character as the most important element of the novel. In fact, he sees plot and character as often in conflictone requires closure, the other does notand he laments those novels in which he thinks character is sacrificed for plot.

Contemporaneous with Forster's theorizing, the Russian Formalists, a group including Victor Shklovsky, Boris Eichenbaum, and Yuri Tynanov, develop ideas about the novel that provide an especially interesting comparison with James's. They introduce a more formal and ultimately more influential distinction between the what and the how, identifying the fabula as the abstract chronological sequence of events independent of their expression in the sjuzhet, the actual presentation of those events in the novel's text. This distinction explains one's intuition that there can be different versions of the same narrative: different sjuzhets do not constitute different narratives unless they also are based on different fabulas. The Formalists also go James one better by arguing that the purpose of literature in general and the novel in particular is not the representation of felt life but defamiliarization or estrangement: the purpose of literature is to renew or revise our perceptionsin Shklovsky's famous phrase, to make the stone stony. This view leads the Formalists to an account of literary change built on the formal necessity of innovation, especially in the how of the novel: novelistic forms that once provided estrangement gradually lose that effect as they themselves became familiar, and so the inventive novelist discovers new devices of estrangement.

The next significant literary critical approach to form, that of the Anglo-American New Critics, emphasizes the distinctiveness of literary language itself, and so focuses on the image patterns of novels (the how) as containing the key to their thematic concerns (the what) and, thus, their formal artistry. The rivals of the New Critics, the Chicago School neo-Aristotelians, though generally unsuccessful in their effort to unseat New Criticism as the orthodoxy of the critical mainstream, turn out to be more influential than the New Critics in the evolution of narrative theory. R. S. Crane, working without knowledge of the Russian Formalists, develops a concept of plot that distinguishes between its "material action" (the what, roughly equivalently to the fabula ) and the "plot proper" (the synthesis of what and how in the service of a given purpose and set of effectsroughly equivalent to sjuzhet ). Crane's student Wayne C. Booth reexamines, from the neo-Aristotelian perspective, the Jamesian rules for novelistic success and repudiates them with a method that transforms Crane's neo-Aristotelian poetics into a rhetoric. In The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961), Booth argues that techniques of showing are as rhetorical as techniques of telling; the choice is not between impersonal art and inartistic rhetoric but rather between different ways of trying to influence the audiencein short, different kinds of rhetorical appeals. More generally, Booth's insight that the novel is rhetorical from top to bottom paves one road for the entry of ethical and ideological approaches to narrative.

Another Russian scholar of the 1920s, Vladimir Propp, provides a model for a different approach to narrative in The Morphology of the Folktale (1929). Propp identifies thirty-one functions that occur in invariable order (for example, hero perceives a lack; hero meets a magical agent) in every Russian folktale. But more important than his specific account of the folktale itself is Propp's insight that underlying the surface variety of the folktale is a single deep structure (an Ur-fabula, if the reader will). The structuralist narratologists of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Tzvetan Todorov, Claude Bremond, and, in one phase of his work, Roland Barthes, look back to Propp and to Ferdinand de Saussure in their effort to uncover the underlying structures of narrative. Saussure's distinction between langue, the abstract system of language that underlies any utterance and makes it intelligible, and parole, actual utterances, provides an analogy for the structuralist project of describing the grammar of narrative that makes any given narrative intelligible.

Strikingly the results of these efforts are not a comprehensive grammar but a number of conceptual tools that remain both useful and influential to this day. Chief among these tools are the story / discourse distinction, a new version of the what/how distinction, and Gérard Genette's analyses of discourse. Story encompasses the characters, events, and settings (or states, events, and existents) of narrative, and discourse encompasses all the devices for rendering the story in one way rather than another. Genette groups these devices into three main kinds: (1) those of temporality, which include order, duration (the relation between story time and its expression in discourse time, for instance, twenty years may be summarized in a single sentence, just as one minute may be treated in several pages), and frequency (the relation between the number of times an event happens in story and the number of times it is reported in discourse); (2) voice, the answer to the question "who speaks?"; and (3) vision, the answer to the question "who perceives?" Even more significantly, as the link between Propp and the structuralist project suggests, the emergence of narratology makes possible the shift from novel to narrativethat is, storytelling of all kindsas the central object of study, even if literary fiction narrative retains a special status within the project. Genette, for example, develops his conceptual toolbox from his analysis of Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu (19131927; Remembrance of things past). Consequently, in the 1980s the field of narrative theory emerged with a recognizable identity.

Contemporary Narrative Theory: Contextual
and Interdisciplinary Models

Even as the field was emerging, it was being affected by the larger "theory revolution" of the last quarter of the twentieth century in two main ways: (1) the field's focus on narrative form expands and becomes complicated through attention to the relations between form and ideology; and (2) as already noted, the field becomes increasingly interdisciplinary. The discovery and dissemination in the West of the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, another Russian scholar of the 1920s and 1930s, is especially significant in the complication of formal approaches. Bakhtin, in one sense, is as concerned with the form of the novel as Shklovsky or any other Russian Formalist; indeed one of his goals was to earn for the novel as a genre the kind of respect and status accorded to poetry in 1920s Russia. But Bakhtin conceives of the novel's form as inseparable from its ideological component, because he conceives of language as always already ideological. He views any national language (English, French, Russian) not as a unified system but rather as a collection of sociolects or minilanguages, such as the language of the working class, the language of the law, or the language of the academy, each of which carries the values of its group. Bakhtin argues that the novel necessarily draws upon multiple minilanguages and puts them into dialogic relationships with each other; this dialogue among languages is also a dialogue among ideologies.

Feminist narratologists such as Robyn Warhol and Susan Lanser participate in the spirit of Bakhtin's work by linking technique to ideology, though they are most concerned with ideologies of gender and their interests extend beyond novelistic language to other features of narrative discourse, especially the devices and techniques of woman writers and female narrators. Although other ideologically based theoretical approaches such as Marxist theory and postcolonial theory have not yet spawned their own branches of narratology, these theories also contribute to a general understanding of the inseparable connection between form and ideology: Each shows how an author's choice of particular narrative techniques and structures occurs within both a formal and a political context and therefore has both formal and ideological consequences.

Another significant complication of the formal model has been the rise of narrative ethics, itself a subfield of the burgeoning area of ethical criticism. Martha Nussbaum argues that narrative, due to its concrete particularity and its capacity to draw on the cognitive power of the emotions, is, in the hands of a novelist such as Henry James, a site for ethical exploration that rivals the explorations of philosophical ethics. Booth extends the rhetorical approach of The Rhetoric of Fiction to the ethical realm by focusing on the quality of one's life in the hours spent reading narrative. More specifically, Booth proposes the metaphor of "books as friends" and suggests the reader can judge the quality of such friendships by attending to the trajectory of desires they invite the reader to follow. Adam Zachary Newton and others develop approaches to narrative ethics through attention to the relation between the specifics of story and discourse, on one hand, and ethical categories derived from philosophers such as Emmanuel Levinas, on the other. James Phelan seeks to extend the work of both Booth and Newton by exploring the ethics of technique as much as the ethical dimension of characters' situations.

Contemporary narrative theory is interdisciplinary in two related ways. As the example of narrative ethics shows, it either brings the insights of other disciplines to the study of narrative or it brings the conclusions of narrative theory to the concerns of other disciplines. In each case, the interdisciplinarity is a two-way street: Not only does philosophical ethics illuminate narrative's representations of ethical situations, but those representations have implications for philosophy's investigations into ethics. Similarly not only does, say, medicine benefit from drawing on narrative theory, but medicine's use of it has consequences for the field's ongoing efforts. Among other things, this aspect of inter-disciplinarity corrects literary study's attraction to the experimental or innovative case and helps keep the focus on what seems to be the fundamental elements of narrative's power (see sidebar).

One of the most promising current interdisciplinary developments is the cognitive approach to narrative taken by such scholars as David Herman. In a sense, this movement is an extension of classical narratology because it also has the goal of giving a comprehensive view of narrative, its elements, and their combinations. But rather than fashioning that comprehensive view by analogy with Saussure's theory of language, the cognitivists start with the idea that narrative is a way of organizing experience, one that involves, in both its production and consumption, the development of a mental model of that organization. This starting point means that the cognitivists draw upon both the findings of narrative theory broadly conceivedincluding, for example, classical narratology, rhetorical theory, and sociolinguisticsand the findings of cognitive science about how the human mind processes information, forms patterns from diverse data, and so on. Whether the cognitive approach succeeds in establishing a new dominant paradigm for understanding narrative or becomes, like classical narratology, a movement that is more significant for its local successes than the achievement of its ultimate goal remains to be seen. But the cognitive project is a telling example of the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary narrative studies and strong evidence, along with the undeniable ubiquity and amazing variety of narrative itself, that the future of narrative theory is very bright.

See also Formalism ; Literary Criticism ; New Criticism .

E. M. Forster's King and Queen and Narrative across the Disciplines

"The king died and then the queen" is a story. "The king died and then the queen died of grief" is a plot. Thus spake E. M. Forster, who also points out that the difference between the two is causality. Theorists have debated the validity of the distinction since Forster proposed it in the 1927, arguing, for example, that the very temporality of "and then" entails causality (or at least invites the reader to supply it) so that the only difference between the two versions is the explicit naming of the cause in the second. The debate also includes objections to defining plot solely in terms of causality, since many narrative artists build plots on other principles. Nevertheless the debate itself shows that Forster identified four elements of narrativecharacter (or agent), event, temporality, and causalitythat are essential to the contemporary interest in "narrative across the disciplines." Because narrative spells out the specific relations among agents, events, time, and causality, it is capable of explaining phenomena that escape more abstract analyses such as those based on science-oriented ideas of general laws. In twenty-first-century culture, with its widespread abandonment of a belief in eternal verities, this capability is of great importance for many disciplines.

Many legal cases, for example, involve disputes about the relation among the agents involved, the temporal order of events, and the causes of those events; judges and juries often render their verdicts according to which side constructs the most convincing narrative about that relation. In medicine, the narrative of an onset of an illness with its particular relation of what the patient did when and for what reason can provide clues to both to the nature of the illness and the appropriate treatment. Furthermore many patients find the opportunity of relating their "illness narrative" to a sympathetic medical professional to be salutary in itself. The talking cure of psychoanalysis is a narrative cure: an analysand comes to recognize how the relation among agents, including herself, events of her past, and their causality are still affecting her and, thus, how she can break the grip of that narrative and write another one for her life. More generally, narrative's interest in character, event, temporality, and causality provides the basis for claims that people's identities are constituted by the narratives they tell about their lives. The queen died, in other words, because the event of the king's death made her own passing the inevitable next event in her narrative of her life.


Bakhtin, Mikhail. "Discourse in the Novel." In his The Dialogic Imagination. Translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.

Barthes, Roland. "An Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative." Translated by Lionel Duisit. New Literary History 6 (1975): 237272.

Booth, Wayne C. The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.

. The Rhetoric of Fiction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961. Reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.

Forster, E. M. Aspects of the Novel. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1927.

Genette, Gérard. Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Translated by Jane Lewin. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1980.

Herman, David. Story Logic: Problems and Possibilities of Narrative. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.

James, Henry. The Art of Criticism: Henry James on the Theory and Practice of Fiction. Edited by William Veeder, and Susan M. Griffin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.

Lanser, Susan. Fictions of Authority: Women Writers and Narrative Voice. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1992.

Newton, Adam Zachary. Narrative Ethics. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Nussbaum, Martha. Love's Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Phelan, James. Living to Tell about It: A Rhetoric and Ethics of Character Narration. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2004.

Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale. 2nd ed., rev. Translated by Laurence Scott. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968. Originally published in 1929.

Saussure, Ferdinand de. Course in General Linguistics, edited by Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye in collaboration with Albert Reidlinger and translated by Wade Baskin. New York: Philosophical Library, 1959.

Shklovsky, Victor. Theory of Prose. Translated by Benjamin Sher. Elmwood Park, Ill.: Dalkey Archive Press, 1990.

Warhol, Robyn. Gendered Interventions: Narrative Discourse in the Victorian Novel. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1989.

James Phelan

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Narrative can be situated within the range of speech acts that comprise ordinary communication. At one end, there are relatively brief communications, such as token conversational responses like "umm" or "uh-huh" or short descriptive statements like "I've felt that way all my life." At the other end, where narrative is situated, are more extended and complex commentaries, such as full-blown life stories or the frames of reference that researchers themselves use to analyze narrative material (Linde; Gubrium and Holstein; McAdams; Riessman). Harvey Sacks, a pioneer of conversation analysis, characterized narrative or storytelling as an extended turn at talk or a relatively lengthy speech act (see Silverman).

A distinguishing feature of research on ordinary communication is that it centers on naturally occurring speech, as it is conveyed in subjects' own words. For example, if the subject is the aging World War II veteran, the veteran's own responses to the war experience is of central concern, not, for example, contemporary front-line journalists' accounts of the soldier's experience or a spouse's reports about her husband's thoughts and feelings in the course of battle. What others say about the subject's experience, how they describe the subject's world, and the explanations they offer for his or her sentiments and conduct are of secondary interest.

The subject is not always a single category of individual. The focus of attention may center on narratives of any and all who subsequently commented on the war experience, which would include the soldier himself, significant others, and journalists' remarks, among those whose narratives served to communicate what it was like to be in and survive the war. The subject might be extended to include the narratives of veterans of other wars, such as the Korean and Vietnam wars, perhaps aiming to document comparatively how public sentiments surrounding war affect the way soldiers communicate their identities and fighting aims (see Hynes). Whoever the subject is and however extended this is categorically, the goal of narrative analysis is to focus attention on subjects' own accounts.

The growing significance of narrative

The acceptance of narrative analysis as an approach to understanding experience has grown significantly. The social sciences, in particular, have undergone a resurgence of interest in life stories. Narrative analysis is now once again an important investigatory and research genre. One stream of early work in the areatellingly called the "own story" approachproduced rich and detailed depictions of individuals' social lives. A leading example is sociologist Clifford Shaw's presentation of "a delinquent boy's own story" in his book The Jack-Roller, which portrayed the subject, Stanley, and his delinquent career, in Stanley's own words. To Shaw and others working in this vein, statistical profiles, professional assessments, and other "outsider" reports were no substitute for the deep understanding one gained from a narrative approach, a perspective now being extensively revisited.

The widespread contemporary interest in life stories followed a fallow period, from the 1950s through the 1970s, in which the leading research paradigms eschewed narrative. Narrative analysis was figured to be too "subjective," emphasizing that term's association with being biased. The view was that only neutral outsiders could be objective in describing personal experience, which by the same token required "objective" research procedures. This led to the proliferation of positivistic, quantitative techniques in these decades, which stressed measurement and statistical analysis, not the extended story-like accounts favored by narrative researchers.

The resurgence of interest in narrative, which began in the 1980s, stemmed in part from the disappointingly thin representations of experience produced by positivistic methods. While surveys of experience of all kinds, from quality of life to political sentiments, provided information about the distribution of attitudes and opinions, they offered little understanding of how these operated in subjects' lives. The desire for richer detail reminded researchers of the promises of early work on narrative material, once again centering attention on the subject's "own words" and "own story," as communicated by those whose experiences were under consideration. At the outset of the twenty-first century, narrative analyses of all kinds are being conducted across the social sciences and overlapping fruitfully with literary, linguistic, and historical studies (Holstein and Gubrium; Josselson and Lieblich; Rosenwald and Ochberg).

The structure of stories

The key argument that experience comes to us by way of narrative suggests that experience can be viewed as structured along the same lines that stories are. For example, when we are asked about what may have happened to us over a particular span of time, we are likely to respond with an unfolding story, not just a list of events. A listing is simply a series of happenings, which may or may not be organized chronologically. A story, in contrast, can have myriad internal linkages and thus considerable overall organizational complexity. These linkages supply both the meaningful connections between events and the horizons of meaning that comprise the varied worlds of lived experience.

Stories and their events are narratively structured in at least three waysthrough characterization, by formulating events into plots, and by discerning an overall theme or point. In responding to a question about what one has experienced, one can, respectively, describe who was involved and how, detail the temporal organization of events, and make a point, for example, of what it all led to or explain why things developed as they did. For instance, as far as characterization is concerned, the dramatis personae of the story of one's caregiving experience for a demented parent may be limited to the caregiver and the care receiver, with all events described as unfolding around them. The point being made about the experience might be that, overall, it was an important learning experience and strengthened the caregiver's resolve as a person. In contrast, such a story might be told in terms of a huge cast of characters, ranging from the caregiver and care receiver themselves, to professionals, neighbors, friends, and both close and distant relatives, and whose plot links up with the point that if it had not been for the help and support of others, the caregiver would not have survived the ordeal.

While the actual experience of caregiving might be similar in any two cases, their respective characterizations, the plots, and the points subsequently conveyed, can make for distinct forms of knowledge. In practice, we respond as much, if not more, to the stories told about experience as to the experience in its own right. The argument that experience comes to us in the form of stories is important because the organization of stories, separate from what actually happened, bears significantly on how we respond to the events in question. The relevance of studying stories follows directly from this, as their organization brings the researcher face-to-face with the experience's communicative realities.

Each of the three ways of structuring a story can be further divided into subcategories, into forms of characterization, kinds of plots, and types of themes. Vladimir Propp was an important pioneer in distinguishing the underlying plot structure of the folk tale, for example, an approach that other narrative researchers have since developed extensively into additional structures and categorizations (see Polkinghorne). Moreover, the three ways of structuring a story may be narratively related in different ways. For example, emphasis might be placed on characterization, with the plot and the point given relatively minor roles, or conversely the point and plot might be highlighted with little character development. This, too, affects how we respond to the experiences being described.

Applications to aging

One of the earliest applications of a narrative approach in gerontology was clinical and focused on the life review (Butler and Lewis). Psychiatrist Robert Butler determined that in old age, individuals were likely sooner or later to take stock of their lives in relation to their impending death. The process of coming to terms with the past in relation to the present was called the life review and was seen to have a positive psychological function. Butler advised professional care-givers and service providers to encourage life reviewsnarrative reconstructions of a lifetime of experienceas a way of producing overall meaning at life's end. However, the life review approach is controversial because it focuses on the individual and fails to take account of the circumstances of the reconstructions, which may prove to have negative consequences for the life reviewer (Kenyan and Randall).

Anthropologist Sharon R. Kaufman's study of personal narrative and identity in old age has made a significant contribution to the formulation of an area of research now called narrative gerontology (Kenyon, Clark, and de Vries). Kaufman's book The Ageless Self shows that older people are narratively active in conveying the contours of their lives through stories. The plots and themes are not governed by old age itself for Kaufman's respondents, nor by this generation's major historical experiences, such as having lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Significantly, Kaufman's respondents construct the stories of their lives on separate terms, many of them centered on personal values (but see Ruth and Öberg for contrasting results).

Sociologist Jaber F. Gubrium's study of the life narratives of nursing home residents takes this approach into an institutional setting. Gubrium's research focused on the quality of care and of life in the nursing home; he was interested, in particular, in how the residents themselves communicated these qualities. Rather than asking exclusively about the qualities, he raised questions about them in relation to the residents' life stories. The rationale for this was that residents don't leave a lifetime of experiences behind when they check into nursing homes. Interestingly enough, the qualities of life and of care in the nursing homes studied had strikingly distinct meanings. No particular degree of quality of life or of quality of care seemed to matter as much as what the nursing home experience meant in the context of life as a whole. The "same" quality of care, in other words, had different meanings for residents with contrasting life stories.

There are many other new applications in place in gerontology. Researchers have been studying the way that emotional experience is narratively conveyed across the life course. Others are researching the character of storytelling in therapeutic encounters in old age. Some are revisiting the life review approach in nursing practice and in adult education, as well as examining life stories against a variety of historical events (see Birren et al). Studies combining narrative approaches with more traditional, field-based research also are showing considerable promise. Researchers are examining how characterization, plots, and themes are mediated by the social settings in which they are conveyed, such as in focus groups, formal care organizations, and distinct residential environments (see Rowles and Schoenberg). A new technique known as guided autobiography is extending the study of narrative to include the researchers and interviewers as co-storytellers, as those who elicit life stories are taken to be in narrative collaboration with their subjects (Kenyon). Across the board, the research horizon for narrative studies in aging is vibrant and expanding.

Jaber F. Gubrium James A. Holstein

See also Life Review; Qualitative Research.


Birren, J. E.; Kenyon, G. M.; Ruth, J.-E.; Schroots, J. J. F.; and Svensson, T., eds. Aging and Biography. New York: Springer, 1996.

Butler, R. N., and Lewis, M. Aging and Mental Health. St. Louis, Mo.: C. V. Mosby Co., 1977.

Gubrium, J. F. Speaking of Life: Horizons of Meaning for Nursing Home Residents. Hawthorne, N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter, 1993.

Gubrium, J. F., and Holstein, J. A. The New Language of Qualitative Method. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Holstein, J. A., and Gubrium, J. F. The Self We Live By: Narrative Identity in a Postmodern World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Hynes, S. The Soldiers' Tale: Bearing Witness to Modern War. New York: Penguin, 1997.

Josselson, R., and Lieblich, A. The Narrative Study of Lives. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1993.

Kaufman, S. R. The Ageless Self: Sources of Meaning in Late Life. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986.

Kenyon, G. M. "Guided Autobiography." In Qualitative Gerontology. Edited by Graham D. Rowles and Nancy Schoenberg. New York: Springer, 2001.

Kenyon, G. M. and Randall, W. L. Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth Through Autobiographical Reflection. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1997.

Kenyon, G. M.; Phillip, C.; and de Vries, B., eds. Narrative Gerontology: Theory, Research, and Practice. New York: Springer, 2001.

Linde, C. Life Stories: The Creation of Coherence. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

McAdams, D. P. The Stories We Live By. New York: Guilford Press, 1993.

Polkinghorne, D. E. Narrative Knowing and the Human Sciences. Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1988.

Propp, V. The Morphology of the Folk Tale. (1928). Reprint, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968.

Riessman, C. K. Narrative Analysis. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1993.

Rosenwald, G. C., and Ochberg, R. L., eds. Storied Lives. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992.

Rowles, G. D., and Schoenberg, N., eds. Qualitative Gerontology, 2d ed. New York: Springer, 2001.

Ruth, J.-E., and Öberg, P. "Ways of Life: Old Age in a Life History Perspective." In Aging and Biography. Edited by James E. Birren, Gary M. Kenyon, Jan-Erik Ruth, Johannes J. F. Schroots, and Torbjorn Svensson. New York: Springer, 1996. Pages 167186.

Sacks, H. Lectures on Conversation, V. I & II. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1992.

Shaw, C. R. The Jack-Roller: A Delinquent Boy's Own Story. (1930). Reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966.

Silverman, D. Harvey Sacks: Social Science and Conversation Analysis. London: Sage, 1998.

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nar·ra·tive / ˈnarətiv/ • n. a spoken or written account of connected events; a story: the hero of his modest narrative. ∎  the narrated part or parts of a literary work, as distinct from dialogue. ∎  the practice or art of narration: traditions of oral narrative. • adj. in the form of or concerned with narration: a narrative poem | narrative technique. DERIVATIVES: nar·ra·tive·ly adv.

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