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Lived Experience and Interpretation in Narrative Theory: Experiences of Living with HIV/AIDS


Ezzy, D, Lived Experience and Interpretation in Narrative Theory: Experiences of Living with HIV/AIDS, Qualitative Sociology, 21, (2) pp. 169-180. ISSN 0162-0436 (1998) [Refereed Article]


Narrative analysis builds on the strengths of qualitative research by examining the construction of meaning and symbolic systems in a framework that is explicitly temporal and that links research in the humanities with that in the social sciences. Qualitative methodologies often assume reported data accurately reflects the realities of lived experience. On the other hand some research drawing on cultural studies argues that the facts of a person's life are irrelevant. This paper argues for a middle way based on narrative theory that explores the interaction of objective events and their subjectiveinterpretation. Further, narrative analysis enables exploration of the temporal structure of people's experiences focusing on both how a person's memories of the past and anticipations of the future influence their understanding and actions in the present. These points are developed drawing on the theory and methodology of both Symbolic Interactionism and Paul Ricoeur's Hermeneutics. The experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS are used to illustrate and explicate the usefulness of narrative analysis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Social structure and health
UTAS Author:Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)
ID Code:70935
Year Published:1998
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2011-07-05
Last Modified:2011-07-06

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