Narrative and its potential contribution to disability studies

Brett Smith, Andrew C Sparkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


This article seeks to expand our understanding of narrative and the analysis of stories researchers invite and collect in the domain of disability studies. What narrative inquiry is and various reasons why researchers might opt to choose to turn to narratives are highlighted. Painting with broad strokes, narrative analysis is then considered before a typology of different ways in which stories can be analysed is offered. Illuminated by the typology are two contrasting standpoints on narrative analysis (storyteller and story analyst) and three specific methods (structural, performative, and autoethnographic creative analytic practices) that each standpoint might use to analyse the whats and hows of stories. The article closes by suggesting that researchers might consider using a variety of analyses in order to assist us to understand the complexities of the social world in diverse ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-28
Number of pages12
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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