Narrative identity and politics

Explaining the narrative lens on politics, psychology and identity, Phillip L Hammack writes:

“narrative is a powerful rhetorical tool used far beyond the life stories of particular political candidates. Rather, consistent with growing arguments in social, cultural, and developmental psychology…, I suggest that we comprehend the social world through narrative – by clustering concepts, ideas, categories characters, and events into a running dramatized storyline – provided to us through various forms of cultural construction, including the news media, entertainment industry, literature, law, and, of course, political discourse and rhetoric.” (pp.52-53)

“Although political rhetoric is typically framed as a set of truth claims, it is not the “accuracy” of narratives that is relevant to scientific analysis but rather the political positions they construct and the political actions they seek to motivate. The central premise of narrative is that it is fundamentally concerned with sense-making (Bruner, 1990, 1991, 2001). Narratives provide order, coherence, sensibility, and meaning to the world, and individuals call on narrative to bring a sense of coherence to their own life course. Political actors exploit this fundamental psychological premise to motivate sets of actions that will contribute to the larger jockeying for power of some groups over others. Narrative is thus not neutral but is always deployed to serve some interest for the maintenance or attainment of status, power, and dominance.” (p.53)

Ref: Phillip L Hammack (2015) Mind, Story, and Society: The Political Psychology of Narrative. pp. 51- 77 Eds. Michael Hanne, Michael D Crano, and Jeffery Scott Mio Warring with Words: Narrative and Metaphor in Politics. Psychology Press: New York and London


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
This entry was posted in Metaphors and Narratives around children and learners, social and political contexts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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