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Record Type: Review   ID: 185

Interpreting Experience: The Narrative Study of Lives

Josselson, Ruthellen, & Lieblich, Amia (Eds.).

 This is the third in an annual series entitled "The Narrative Studies of Lives," an EHE researcher’s tool chest. This one is on "interpreting experience," which is what all experiencers must do as they incorporate their experiences into their lives. As Geertz pointed out, we have no choice but to interpret our experiences in terms of "local knowledge," but increasingly, in large part because of the media as an attention-getter but then by the printed word or the internet, people are reaching out to local forms of knowledge sometimes on the opposite side of the Earth. Like a sparrow building a nest, whatever "works" will be selected. The editors quote Geertz again, as regards their aim in bringing together people from different disciplines and countries: the aim is for an "interpretative science in search of meaning, not an experimental science in search of laws" (p. x). This is the aim also of the EHE Network. There are 9 contributions in this volume. The titles and authors are "Taking Narrative Seriously: Consequences for Method and Theory in Interview Studies, by Susan E. Chase; Imagining the Real: Empathy, Narrative, and the Dialogic Self, by Ruthellen Josselson; Biographical Work and New Ethnography, by Jaber F. Gubrium and James A. Holstein; Life History and Academic Work: the Career of Professor G, by Steven Weiland; Developmental Patterns of Mathematically Gifted Individuals as Viewed Through Their Narratives, by Ada H. Zohar; The Quest for Connectedness: Loneliness as Process in the Narratives of Lonely University Students, by Hadas Wiseman; It’s the Telling That Makes the Difference, by Adital Tirosh Ben-Ari; Life Histories as Social Texts of Personal Experiences in Sociolinguistic Studies: A Look at the Lives of Domestic Workers in Swaziland, by Sarah Mkhonza; and Extending Boundaries: Narratives on Exchange, by Ardra L. Cole and J. Gary Knowles. this is a very provocative volume (and series) for suggesting ideas for working with EHEs.
Publisher Information:Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995. 262p. About contributors: 259-262; Chap. bibl; Ind: 252-257
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