Narrative analysis is a valuable data analysis technique in qualitative research. It is typically used in those studies which have already employed narrative inquiry as a qualitative method. Narrative knowledge is created and constructed through the stories of lived experience and sense-making, the meanings people afford to them, and therefore offers valuable insight into the complexity of human lives, cultures, and behaviours. Narrative analysis uses the ‘story’ as the unit of analysis, in contrast to thematic and other forms of qualitative analysis.
Narrative analysis is useful for practitioners and researchers who wish to focus on individual experiences, e.g. via collected stories and unstructured interviews. Examples of possible applications include case studies; patients’ experiences of health care services or illness; life stories and experiences of social care clients; victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system.
This training benefits participants who wish to advance their knowledge of qualitative research methods. It explores the opportunities that narrative analysis offers in a range of applied and policy settings and contexts. It is relevant to researchers who have narrative data (or plan to collect narrative data) ready for analysis.