Chapter 1. Getting Started: A Thumbnail Sketch of the Approach

  1. David Herman

Published Online: 4 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305920.ch1

Basic Elements of Narrative

Basic Elements of Narrative

How to Cite

Herman, D. (2009) Getting Started: A Thumbnail Sketch of the Approach, in Basic Elements of Narrative, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305920.ch1

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 2 JAN 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405141536

Online ISBN: 9781444305920



  • Getting Started - distinctive properties of narrative and thumbnail sketch of approach;
  • toward a working definition of narrative;
  • what stories are and how they work by analyzing narrative into its basic elements;
  • stories are accounts of what happened to particular people – and of what it was like for them to experience what happened;
  • “etic” and “emic” approaches to narrative study - contrast between phonetic and phonemic differences;
  • Georgakopoulou's (2007) ethnographically oriented analysis of stories told in face-to-face interaction;
  • profiles of narrative;
  • narrative - basic elements - “dimensional” approach developed by Ochs and Capps


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Toward a Working Definition of Narrative

  • Profiles of Narrative

  • Narrative: Basic Elements