Narrative Interviews

This form of interview is conducted in a one on one environment and is unstructured in its nature. Its purpose is to draw out a participant’s account of a significant event (or events) as experienced by the participant. It is intended that the interviewer have very little interaction input in to the conversation as to minimize any influence the interviewer may have on the participant’s words. The interviewer however may have ‘prompts’ that they use to ensure that the participant keeps on track with the direction of the interview.

“Narrative inquiry addresses Maori concerns about research into their lives in an holistic, culturally appropriate manner because storytelling allows the research participants to select, recollect and reflect on stories within their own cultural context and language rather than in the cultural context and language chosen by the researcher” (Bishop, 1994, p. 24).

Examples:

Taylor, Kura Marie. (1994) “Conversations” with Maori Woman Educators, Unpublished Masters Thesis, MPhil in Education, The University of Auckland.

Further Reading:

Bauer, Martin (1996) 'The Narrative Interview', London School of Economics and Political Science, Methodology Institute, London.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/methodologyInstitute/pdf/QualPapers/Bauer-NARRAT1SS.pdf