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15 December 2020
Constructing Identity and Meaning through Narrative
Over thirty years ago, Jerome Bruner (1986) positioned the study of narrative squarely in the middle of psychology by arguing that “world making” is the main function of the mind. He went on to argue that stories form the bedrock of human existence; they structure and organize memory and identity (e.g., McAdams, 2011; Mclean, 2019), provide scaffolding for cultural navigation (e.g., Gottschall, 2012), and both reveal and reroute our understanding of the world (e.g., Josselson & Lieblich, 1995). Today, Bruner’s influence is seen across disciplines, in both basic and applied domains, though his ideas most clearly align with a constructivist perspective in which the self is viewed as transactional, dialogical, storied, and agentive. Most narrative methodologies and analyses begin with this assumption, viewing self-narrations as snapshots of meaning that are interpretive rather than a “through-the-clear-crystal recital of something unequivocally given” (Bruner, 2004, p. 692). With this in mind, The Journal of Constructivist Psychology is seeking submissions for a special issue that will highlight what we have learned about the psychology of narratives since the “narrative turn” that occurred several decades ago. Possible topics might include:
- The process of constructing and deconstructing narrative identities
- Cultural tools and models that guide and circumscribe public and private narratives
- The role of narrative in therapy and personal growth
- Narrative research methodologies and modes of inquiry
- The role of self-disclosure and ethics in storytelling
- Universal vs. local/particular themes in personal narratives
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If you are interested in contributing to this special issue, send a 1-2 page description of your proposed paper to Dr. Tabitha Holmes at [email protected] on or before September 15, 2020. Proposals should describe the theoretical and/or methodological lens through which the paper will advance our understanding of narrative and constructivist psychology. If invited to contribute a paper, final manuscripts will be due by December 15, 2020.
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