This powerful book recounts the process of a study that examines personal narratives of abuse survivors by assessing the relationship between narration and teller empowerment. The narratives, which include survival stories of rape, incest, and battery, were collected in personal interviews, transcribed, and coded for emergent themes. Results of the study indicate that narrating experiences of victimization and abuse is a necessary step in moving from victimization and survivorship, and is an essential way for victims of abuse to become empowered. The book discusses in detail the fundamental steps in acquiring narrative research. Special attention is paid to the precautions and implications of conducting research on sensitive material. Through its examination of the data collection and analysis processes, Taking Narrative Risk will be beneficial in coursework in communication studies, performance methodology, and narrative analysis.
Lori L. Montalbano-Phelps is Assistant Professor of Communication and Women's Studies in Communication and Women's Studies at Indiana University Northwest. Professor Montalbano-Phelps holds a doctorate in Speech Communication for Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction to the Study: Sharing Personal Narratives; Personal Narratives and Change Chapter 3 Methodological Procedure: Introduction; Methodological Assumptions and Precautions; Research precautions; Performance as a Method of Inquiry; Methodology; The Interview Environment; Participants in the Study; Conducting Interviews; Procedure Chapter 4 Coding the Narratives: Coding; Analysis; Themes of Disempowerment Which Perpetuate Silence; Themes of Empowerment which Can Facilitate Change; Discussion Chapter 5 Personal Narratives and Change: Narrative Sensemaking; Survivor Discourse; Use of Themes; The Nature of the Discourse; Discussion; Performance Strategies; Characterization: Positioning the Players; Convincing Story Line; Setting the State for Transc Chapter 6 Understanding Personal Narratives Through Re-Performance: Introduction; Performance Objectives; Pursuing Performance Objectives; Staging Performance Text; Performance and Re-Performance: Areas of Convergence and Performance Knowledge Gained; Discuss Chapter 7 Conclusions: Narrative Risk and the Telling of Abuse Survivor; Narratives; The Impact of the Telling; Re-Performance of Survivor Narratives; Discussion; Implications for Future Research Chapter 8 Bibliography Chapter 9 Index