Narrating Moments of Political Change

Book chapter


Andrews, M. 2014. Narrating Moments of Political Change. in: Nesbitt-Larking, Paul, Kinnvall, Catarina and Capelos, Tereza (ed.) The Palgrave handbook of global political psychology Palgrave. pp. 353-368
AuthorsAndrews, M.
EditorsNesbitt-Larking, Paul, Kinnvall, Catarina and Capelos, Tereza
Abstract

‘Every age has its stories’(1) Eric Selbin tells us, ‘as does each individual, stories that shape and form the world we know...Stories essentially reflect the cultural values of their time and place as well of those who tell them’ (Selbin, 2010: 24–25). Stories are the means by which individuals and communities make sense not only of their current existence, but of their pasts and futures, both real and imagined. It is through stories, shared and contested, that individuals and groups construct a sense of identity – who is ‘us’ and who is ‘them’. The stories change over time, and even those that remain constant
(on the printed page, for instance) change in their meaning and significance, to tellers and audiences alike.
As such, stories play a vital role, not only in constructing the political world as it is, but also as it might be, depicting how it once was. These stories are never consensual – it is the mark of humankind to contest the stories of other individuals and communities. But stories are one of the primary vehicles through which politics are articulated and debated.
Given that this is so, it is surprising that stories have only recently come in to focus as a legitimate vehicle for trying to understand the complexity of the political world, and of political change more specifically. In this chapter, I will discuss the growing interest in political narratives, and will offer one elaborated example to illustrate this discussion.

Book titleThe Palgrave handbook of global political psychology
Page range353-368
Year2014
PublisherPalgrave
Publication dates
Print2014
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Mar 2015
Series Palgrave studies in political psychology
ISBN9781137291172
9781137293220
Additional information

A shorter version of this chapter has been published in Reid, Hazel and Linden West, eds. (2014) Constructing Narratives of Continuity and Change: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Researching Lives. London: Routledge. Parts of this chapter have appeared in Molly Andrews (2007) Shaping History: Narratives of Political Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Molly Andrews (2014) Narrative Imagination and Everyday Life. New York: Oxford University Press; Centre for Narrative Research (2014) What Is Narrative Research. London: Bloomsbury Press.

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