Personal narrative and its significance for social change is a prominent topic in the psychological and wider social sciences. Yet while the importance of narrative for social change is commonly assumed by narrative researchers, no single text addresses it exclusively and from a variety of scholarly perspectives. Stories Changing Lives explores the strong and qualified significance of personal stories and how they catalyze and contribute to social change. The first of the book's three sections examines the embeddedness of personal narratives within larger narratives, and how these narratives shift towards justice. The second section considers how narrative language supports and generates social change. Finally, the concluding section addresses the ways in which re-narrations of the past taking place in the present, and narrations of the future using the present and past, impact social change. Stories Changing Lives sets out the theory and methodology underpinning a range of narrative projects that are committed to progressive change, delineating the strengths and limitations of that research. Chapters focus on projects in Africa, South and North America, and Europe, and bring to the fore the multiplicity of stories, narrative multimodalities, and the importance of intersectionality; they also highlight the interdisciplinarity, historical reach, and transnationalism of narrative research. This volume will further develop our understanding of generating narratives and pursuing social change as two intertwined processes that exemplify the personally and socially transformative characteristics of politics.
Corinne Squire is Professor of Social Sciences and Co-Director, Centre for Narrative Research, at the University of East London. She is also a research associate at Witwatersrand University, South Africa. Her research interests lie in narrative theory and methods, citizenship and HIV, subjectivities and popular culture, and the politics of forced migration.
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