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Posts tagged ‘narrative inquiry’

day 4: self-praise reading + practice

January 8, 2016

lisa hammershaimb

Article Reference:
Dayter, D. (2014). Self-praise in microblogging. Journal of Pragmatics, 61, 91-102.

Article Overview:
Today’s article focuses on “self-praise in micro blogging” which is basically a fancy way to say Tweeting good stuff about yourself. The author did an in depth study of the speech acts on Twitter of ten ballet students and discovered that self praise formed an important category of communication. She was intrigued by just how self-praise is enacted within a community of practice, particularly how it might be used in constructing a “dancer image” amidst the community.

Apparently there is a whole area of study called “compliment research” which grapples with, among other things, politeness across cultures, what counts as boasting, and reactions to receiving compliments. As self-praise is essentially complimenting yourself, the author compared Pomerantz’s six common ways to reconcile a compliment with how the dancer’s expressed self-praise. The goal was to see if indeed self-praise followed a similar route to compliment response.

After coding all tweets, three main categories of self-praise emerged amongst the dancers:

  1. Explicit self-praise without modification
  2. Explicit self-praise with modification
    1. Disclaim the face-threat
    2. Shift focus away from self
    3. Self-denigrate
    4. Refer to hard work
  3. Reinterpretation
    1. Self-praise followed by a complaint
    2. Self-praise framed as a third party complaint

The article concludes with the assertion that self-praise somewhat overlaps with compliment response but serves many purposes all its own including: positive identity construction, self/autobiographic narrative construction, and group membership reinforcement.

My Thoughts
Overall it was an interesting article particularly because I am such an avid micro-blog user and I enjoy thinking about how the identity we construct in online spaces relates to the identity we construct in face-to-face spaces.

In order to take my article engagement one step further and test the categories Dayter distilled (and check my own level of self-praise via Twitter) I did a little DIY coding on my own Twitter feed. I wasn’t able to hit all the categories Dayter identified (I skew heavy on alcohol and light on complaints…hmm…maybe a correlation there?) I did hit many of them.

Study Limitation: I only went back to fall 2015, which is barely scratching the surface of my 5,000+ tweets.

Re-reading tweets outside of the moment/context/emotion in which I wrote them gives them a weird out-of-body feel. I know I wrote them, I can mostly remember the context and yet reading my own words from afar and analyzing them still feels odd. I think this act was a good one to get me thinking more about coding, speech acts, and narrative analysis. I like the reflexivity of this exercise and I think that looking through this form of self-recording, one does get a pretty true picture of who I am. There may be something to this whole narrative analysis thing…..


Lisa’s Self-Praise Analysis

Explicit self-praise without modification

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 10.57.13 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 10.58.41 PM

Explicit self-praise with modification

Shift focus away from self
Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.01.11 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.01.40 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.02.07 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.02.37 PM

Refer to hard work
Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.03.23 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.03.58 PM


Self-praise followed by a complaint
Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.04.39 PM


Compliment Research Resource:
Pomerantz, Anita, 1978. Compliment responses. In: Schenkein, Jim (Ed.), Studies in the Organization of Conversational Interaction. Academic Press, New York, pp. 79–112.



day 3: visuals + words in a narrative theme

January 7, 2016

lisa hammershaimb



Upper Quote from: Andrews, Molly; Squire, Corinne & Tambokou, Maria (Eds.) (2008). Doing narrative research. London: Sage.

Lower Quote from: Riessman, Catherine Kohler & Speedy, Jane (2007). Narrative inquiry in the psychotherapy professions: A critical review. In D. Jean Clandinin (Ed.), Handbook of narrative inquiry: Mapping a methodology (pp.426-456). Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.

day 2: research, relationships & narrative inquiry

January 6, 2016

lisa hammershaimb

Article Reference:
Caine, V., Estefan, A., & Clandinin, D. J. (2013). A return to methodological commitment: Reflections on narrative inquiry. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 57(6), 574-586.

Article Overview
Narrative has become a buzzword in research today. Though the authors acknowledge that diverse opinions allow the field to be enriched, they are concerned that narrative inquiry is being used as a catchall that does not represent the larger ontological underpinnings of its origins. This article is meant to be a refocusing, setting an ontological true north for narrative inquiry.

The authors begin asserting that narrative inquiry is more than a research methodology…it is in fact a narrative view of experience (p.575). When narrative inquiry is viewed solely as a research methodology, it runs the risk of being a one-way street where the researcher holds the power as she gathers the stories of research subjects. When narrative is viewed as an experience, it opens the way for narrative to become something multi-dimensional, co-composed, and changeable within social context. No longer do researchers become the harvesters of narratives, rather researchers acknowledge and live together in the endlessly complex/changeable social world with research participants and from that place of interwoven relationships begin to distill and sense make.

In addition, the authors deem that a “narrative ontology” is key to narrative inquiry. Narrative ontology “implies that experiences are continuously interactive, resulting in changes in both people and the contexts in which they interact” (p.576). The researcher’s lived experience too becomes an important part of the research process because narratives are not received in a sterile lab rather are received in the thick of daily life.

“To engage deeply with experience, an ontological commitment is, then, a relational commitment. It is a commitment to a form of togetherness in research that seems to explore how we are living in the midst of our stories” (p. 576).

In narrative inquiry, the researcher always draws on personal experiences when encountering research puzzles and attention to these personal experiences become the genesis of the relational commitment that is foundational to narrative inquiry.

My Thoughts
This was an interesting article for me because previously, when thinking of narrative inquiry, it was more from a place where my participants would tell me their stories, I’d dutifully record/code, and form some larger theory of experience, phenomenon, etc. To me, narrative was a unit of measure and though it might make me feel something…I’d do my best to bracket and stay true to the facts that were presented. After reading this article, I’m thinking that view was reductionist of me.

The idea that narrative inquiry promotes an interweaving of a researcher’s narrative with the narratives of research subjects rather than a bracketing out of researcher’s narrative is very appealing to me. In addition, the idea that narrative inquiry is relationally constructed resonates with me because I tend to think all of life is relationally constructed and understood. In my case, I am researching a topic that I am passionate about and have experience working within. Hearing relationships are okay within narrative inquiry (and indeed even part of its core) makes it attractive.

Additional Questions
That said, I wonder how objectivity is achieved within narrative inquiry. Could the relational construct obscure or gloss over the truth of a phenomenon? Or am I only thinking that because I’ve been steeped for so long in the validity of research that retains no fingerprints of the researcher? If narrative inquiry is all about exploring the interweaving of your life as a researcher and the lives of your participants…how can you avoid getting hopelessly tangled up in their lives and vice versa? What is professional (or even mental health) distance as a researcher engaged in narrative inquiry?

Overall Learning
Overall by defining its boundaries in general and the importance of a narrative ontology in particular, this article was a good way to begin my narrative inquiry exploration. My overarching takeaway is that not all research that uses narratives is narrative inquiry. If I do want to follow a narrative inquiry focus…I must be prepared for a deep level of engagement, immersion, and co-construction with my participants because research really might be in relationships.



day 1: finding, figuring, and settling in

January 5, 2016

lisa hammershaimb

In September I began writing my first, draft dissertation proposal. Couched within the penultimate doctoral course, Research Seminar 1, the idea was that we’d all write practice condensed dissertation proposals to test-drive research questions, methodology, and literature review

After writing juicy research questions about the experience of co-presence within the online graphic design studio, I began the hunt for a methodology. (Though graphic design education as a whole tends to skew opposite…I strongly believe in the potential of the computer-mediated + distance-distributed. I think it’s possible to listen well (even if your ears aren’t involved in the sensory process), walk with someone through a difficult season (even if you can’t be there to physically hold a hand), and have learning epiphanies that make you feel deeply connected to the larger world (even if you’re home alone and clad in pajamas.)

Having been impressed by dissertations that used ethnography, I decided it was “the one” and began writing. Though I came to ethnography because I resonated with its embedded focus, I soon began to wonder about if my own ontology might not be quite “ethnographic.” For example, in the literature there were many cautionary mentions of “going native” or losing outsider objectivity.

While I understand the rationale, one of my delights is the ease with which I “go native” with those I meet, actively interweaving my life with theirs. I love being a catalyst in forming/fostering community. I believe strongly in co-creation, collaboration, and that if one is curious–it’s quite possible to find and be accepted into the most significant moments in people’s humble, daily places. To me going native feels in many ways like the best validation ever because it means you’ve moved beyond an “I’m studying you” mentality and into a space of co-construction where we’re both living in “it” and studying/constructing/navigating what that experience might look like.

These realizations made me think that maybe I didn’t know myself as a research as well as I thought and…it might be advantageous to reflect on just what I bring to this process. Though I believe it’s important to choose a methodology that fits research questions and best serves the unit you want to measure, I think it’s just as important to choose a methodology that fits your own ontology as a researcher otherwise….eek…the process could be very square-peg-into-round-hole-awkward.

When I turned in my first draft proposal in early December, it was with the knowledge that I was still on the hunt and even more that I needed to clarify a couple more things within myself before I could commit to a framework. And so…over the past three weeks I’ve begun to window shop once more to see if there might be something else out there that’s a bit more in line with both my research questions and myself as a researcher.

I’ve currently settled into narrative inquiry. Though I have yet to fully decide if we are MFEO, I do know I’ll be spending this weeks #5papers looking at different facets + foci of narrative inquiry in an effort to better explore all it has to offer.




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