Creating scientific narratives: Experiences in contructing and interweaving empirical and theoretical plots

S. van Bommel, M.W. van der Zouwen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Taking an interpretive perspective, this chapter argues that practice research has a narrative character in the sense that it is a speech act that retrospectively verbalises something (namely practices) that did not exist previously, and that is written from the (unique) perspective of its author. Although the narrative turn in research methodology is gaining significant scholarly attention, little is known about how scientific narratives are created by researchers and how researchers can be held accountable for them. We present two autoethnographies, to obtain insight into our own practice as scientific narrators. Our analysis reveals that our scientific narratives were created by interweaving an empirical plot and a theoretical plot. It also shows that researchers can be held accountable for their narratives by means of a ‘narrative contract’ with the narrative’s audience according to which the researchers must deliver (1) meaning, by means of a plot that offers a certain criticality (both empirically and conceptually) and (2) ‘truthfulness’, by resonating with the standards that their audience adheres to. We conclude by discussing the implications of such a narrative turn in research methodology for the conceptualisation of practices, practice based research and practice theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationForest and nature governance: a practice based approach
EditorsB.J.M. Arts, J.M. Behagel, S. van Bommel, J. de Koning, E. Turnhout
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Pages217-239
Number of pages265
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameWorld forests
PublisherSpringer
Number14

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