module 15: narrative research

module 15: narrative research

  • module 15: narrative research
    09/09/2020 - 16/09/2020
    9:30 am - 12:45 pm
    Wed 09/09: 9:30 am - 12:45 pm | online
    Wed 16/09: 9:30 am - 12:45 pm | online

Course details

week 1 & 2 | register now


This seminar is intended for doctoral students and other researchers who are working with narratives to investigate people’s experiences, life-worlds and identities. The focus will be on listening. How do we listen to people’s narratives? What voices do we hear or not hear? How can we bring ourselves into relationship with the life-worlds of others? Who is speaking and to whom? In what body or physical space? Telling what stories about which relationships? In what societal and cultural frameworks?
Besides other narrative approaches, the Listening Guide Method developed by Carol Gilligan and colleagues is designed specifically for answering those questions. It specifies a series of listenings as a way of gaining entry into the inner world of another person: Listening for the plot; listening for the I, listening for contrapuntal voices (meaning for voices in the narrative that speak to the researcher’s question and the interplay between them). The evidence gathered through these listenings provides an empirical basis for composing an analysis or interpretation.
During the seminar some narrative approaches and more specifically the Listening Guide Method will be presented and demonstrated. Next participants will be guided through a listening guide analysis using their own narrative materials (transcripts of interviews or therapy sessions, letters, diaries, trial transcripts, etc.) or working in small groups. This will be a working seminar and by the end of it, everyone should have an initial grasp of how to do a listening guide analysis as an example of narrative inquiry.
The seminar will be conducted in English and is limited to 20 participants. Participants who have interview transcripts or other narrative texts are invited to bring one to work on in the seminar. For those who don’t, materials will be provided.

Course structure

The course will consist of lectures and group sessions


A background in arts or social sciences is an advantage but not a requirement.


Prof. dr. Gerrit Loots is professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and visiting professor at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias del Compartamiento (IICC), Departamento de Psicología of the Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo” at La Paz.
The focus of his research is on the study of social, psychological and educational phenomena from an interpersonal and socio-cultural perspective. The central research theme is the intersubjective construction and reconstruction of the self/subject within his/her interpersonal interaction processes. Those interpersonal or discursive processes are studied and investigated as sites for generating joint meaning that shapes the participants’ subjectivity, as well as expressions of the historical and socio-cultural discourses, within which participants are positioning themselves. Gerrit Loots is promotor of the research network ‘Voicing Youth at Social Risk’ which includes various research groups at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel from social sciences, law, criminology, sports and teacher education with the aim of increasing the voice and participation of young people in research, practice and policy. The goal is to investigate with and from the perspective of young people who are in social exclusion situations (such as refugees, migrants with or without papers, detention, poverty, school exclusion, etc.).

Venue   online

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