Research Output
Analysing narratives: the narrative construction of professional identity
  This chapter starts from the premise that identity and narrative are intimately bound. Indeed, it is widely claimed that identity emerges in and through our narratives of personal experience. However, while there may be some consensus around the narrative construction of identity, there is perhaps less agreement about how this is accomplished or how it should be conceptualised. Here, we consider these differences and we explore a range of ways in which narrative construction of professional identity has been researched – including the ‘big stories’ that emerge when we ask our research participants to reflect on their lives, and the ‘small stories’ that arise in everyday conversational interaction. In taking the field forward we present ongoing research which extends analysis of small stories using visual methods to investigate how identity is produced in conjunction with the material objects which constitute professional practice. The chapter does not aim to provide an exhaustive account, instead our purpose is to open up a dialogue around the possibilities presented by narrative as a means to research professional identities.

  • Date:

    31 December 2020

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Edward Elgar Publishing

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Watson, C., & Mcluckie, C. (2020). Analysing narratives: the narrative construction of professional identity. In M. R. Ward, & S. Delamont (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education (380-391). (2nd). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.


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