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Narrative Reconstruction as Creative Contingency

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at context as an experiential world in which people seek to discover their identity. It concerns growing awareness of the tragic contingency of the late modern era. The chapter explores narrative identity and narrative reconstruction of events as possible or necessary means of answering the identity question in a contingent world. It translates the insight into epistemological, methodological conclusions for further empirical studies of narrative reconstructions of experience as constructions of narrative identity. Empirical research into life stories must take into account both creativity and the structures necessary for such creativity. Ultimately qualitative research into diverse interpretations of life events seeks to determine the creative contingency of the dialogue partners. Contingent rationality is applicable mainly when the aim is creative research, which is certainly the case in the narrative approach.

Keywords: creative contingency; dialogue partners; empirical research; late modern era; narrative identity; narrative reconstruction; qualitative research



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