Narrative is an ancient practice still woven throughout our modern society in a myriad forms ranging from novels to computer games, yet the field of narrative inquiry is among the youngest of research approaches, and hence among the most swiftly evolving. This dissertation explores a newly emerging form of narrative inquiry in an education context, “Narrative as Research (NAR).” The dissertation first examines the familiar form of narrative inquiry in an education context, which draws upon standard research instruments (e.g., interviews, journals), engages with collaborative participants, and subsequently restories the participants’ experiences via narrative composition. I term this approach, “Research as Narrative (RAN),” and examine it in terms of: Dissemination and Audience; Data Collection and Analysis; Purpose Statement and Themes; Narrative as Experience; Language and Narrative Form; Subjectivity and Generalizability; Evaluation Criteria; Companion Academic Document (CAD). I then explore the newly emerging NAR approach using the same discussion topics (i.e., Dissemination and Audience, et al.), juxtaposing NAR against RAN. In contrast to RAN, in which the narrative composition process is secondary and collaboration with research participants is vital, NAR foregrounds the narrative composition process as the primary means of knowledge gathering and does not rely upon collaborative participants. After this exploration of NAR, I engage in NAR via three novellas of my own composition. These novellas involve my entwined fields of academic interest as a researcher: education, art, and fiction.
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Thesis advisor: Bai, Heesoon
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