In this article, we take a narrative approach to Swedish media texts regarding farming, forestry, and Sami livelihoods. The main purpose is to illuminate how a master narrative on climate change is shaped, activated, and put into practice in different ways in different settings and contexts. The study discusses the complex interplay between different levels of narratives and the narrative dynamics that influence and shape collective representations of climate change. We discern a narrative level that does not explicitly challenge the master narrative, but operationalizes it in close relation to cultural contexts and specific goals, resulting in what we call conventionalized narratives.
In this essay, I consider the limitations and possibilities of narrative gerontology. I reflect upon narrative gerontology’s fundamental dependence on people’s narrative willingness. I discuss both the reasons that stories remain untold and the reasons they remain unheard. Furthermore, I suggest that narrative gerontology would benefit from a stronger focus on the act and context of storytelling rather than merely on what is being told. I suggest that narrative gerontology should pay more attention to the diverse sites of engagement, more or less formalized settings, and spontaneous everyday interactions in which older adults tell stories.
It is generally accepted that Cotton Mather’s (1689/1914) account of the possession of the Goodwin children, published in Memorable Providences, helped to kindle the Salem witchcraft panic three years later (Hill, 2000; Reynolds, 2008). This article draws on historical scholarship, narrative theory, and cognitive science in order to throw light on the social conditions and cognitive processes whereby narrative content, genre, and practices can converge to destabilize identity, enabling in extreme cases a kind of narrative possession.
Conversion to Islam is an ongoing phenomenon in the minority Kalash community in Pakistan. This article covers conversion incidents and their narration. The introduction of Islam alters the lives of the “kafir” [i.e., unbelievers in Islam] Kalash. The researcher’s intention was to discover the motivational factors behind the decision to convert as depicted through conversion narratives. Are converts under pressure from the social sphere to change religion, or it is an independent decision? How does the Islamic faith reach them? What differences do they find in their new faith as compared to the old one? Moreover, how do they adjust in the community? The data was collected from randomly selected converts whose personal narratives were recorded and transcribed. Later, the researcher analyzed the data. In this study, narrative is presented as a framework for understanding the individual converts. In the analysis, the commonalities and differences in converts’ perceptions of their new religion are discussed, as well as the trajectory of their faith alteration, their efforts of adjustment, and socio-economic development around the Kalash and its impact on the conversions.
This paper explores the links between the multilayered and multi-temporal complexities of the author’s past and present life stories, using autoethnography as a mode of inquiry to make sense of his subjective understanding of life. As such, it tries to assess the difference between experienced life history (his past experiences) and narrated life story (how he interprets these experiences from his present point of view) in order to show how one’s present self-description is determined by one’s past experiences. In the process, the paper explores how the author’s interest in narrative ideas has roots in the narrative of his own life.