Chapter 2. Narrative Research: Understanding People's Lives

  1. Immy Holloway Professor medical sociologist1 and
  2. Holloway Freshwater Professor Director Fellow President2

Published Online: 27 OCT 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316513.ch2

Narrative Research in Nursing

Narrative Research in Nursing

How to Cite

Holloway, I. and Freshwater, H. (2007) Narrative Research: Understanding People's Lives, in Narrative Research in Nursing, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444316513.ch2

Author Information

  1. 1

    Bournemouth University, UK

  2. 2

    Murdoch University, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 OCT 2009
  2. Published Print: 14 FEB 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405114080

Online ISBN: 9781444316513



  • narrative research - understanding people's lives;
  • storytelling involving audience and storytellers narrating tales to researcher;
  • typologies, models and features of narrative;
  • everyday story and time and continuance;
  • autobiographical story connecting present with past and future;
  • cultural stories - people making visible meanings in social context;
  • tales of suffering and illness - influenced by cultural and social environment;
  • collective story - elements of culture, autobiography and biography;
  • social constructionism;
  • functions of narratives


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Typologies, models and features of narrative

  • Social constructionism

  • The difference between narrative inquiry and other

  • qualitative approaches

  • The functions of narratives

  • Summary