20 SES 05, Narratives, Photography Narratives and Drama; How Do These Methods Work in Research and What Kind of Knowledge Will These Methods Provide on Topics Like Diversity, Identity, Social Skills and Life?
In a recent qualitative inquiry (Johnson, Heo, Reich, Leppisaari & Lee 2015) we investigated how South Korean and EU exchange students (the latter from Austria, Estonia and Finland) constructed and re-constructed their ‘global minds.’ In other words, we explored how the mobile students worked on their cultural and intercultural skills, knowledge, beliefs, and identities. The study provided insights on how the students resorted to shared and individual sense-making while using the potentials of the context, including social networks. The students also reflected on the educational systems and practices which they encountered. The students typically negotiated their identities when meeting friends and other people on campus as well as in the wider social arena. The students’ reflections about themselves as global persons and future teachers were also articulated. (Johnson et al. 2015.)
In the present case study, I wish to carry on with the effort of understanding intercultural communication and learning in situ, with a focus on authentic interview data. I attempt to accomplish this with the help of narrative and metaphor analysis of exchange students’ interviews. My research is driven by an interest of contributing to narrative discourse inquiry. I also hope that the study will benefit globalised higher education, as it will bring insights about these students’ ways of understanding and conceptualising their experience.
As a narrative researcher, I am interested both in narrative content and form (Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach & Zilber 1998, 12-18; Clandinin & Connelly 2000, 162-168). Content is identified as the ‘facts’ displayed in the research participants’ narrative account (answers to the question 'what?'). Conversely, ‘form’ stands for the performative and negotiated construal of the individual account (answers to the question 'how?').
We have no direct access to human experience and reality. But symbols, metaphor, narrative and language/discourse constitute a way of making sense of them and investigating them. Connelly and Clandinin (2006) stated that ‘story… is a portal through which a person enters the world and by which their experience of the world is interpreted and made personally meaningful’. Yet equally, as Lakoff and Johnson (2003/1980) put it, we live by metaphors (and metonymies), and we resort to them for ‘understanding and experiencing one kind of a thing in terms of another’ (Lakoff & Johnson 2003/1980, 5). As a narrative researcher, I follow these definitions.
The spoken discourse displays metaphor and metonymy in different ways (Cameron 2003; 2008; 2012). Depending on the topic and purpose of interaction, there is both variation and regularity in the use of metaphor and metonymy, at the local level of talk (Cameron 2008a; 2008b; 2012; Kövecses 2002, 215-228). Systematicity of metaphor/ metonymy use, across the interview data, is equally worth investigating. The ones that are conventionalised over the speech community are called conceptual metaphors/metonymies (Cameron 2008b; Kövecses 2002, 108-109).
The research questions of my study are: How are the students’ study abroad and intercultural experience narrated in the interviews? Secondly, what metaphors and metonymies are used when narrating study abroad and intercultural experience? Thirdly, how are these metaphors and metonymies used across the interview data?
Berger, R. 2013. Now I see, now I don’t: researcher’s position and reflexivity in qualitative re-search. Qualitative Research 15, 219–234. Cameron, L. 2012. Metaphor in spoken discourse. In J. Gee & M. Handford (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Abingdon: Routledge, 342–355. Cameron, L. 2008a. Metaphor shifting in the dynamics of talk. In M. S. Zanotto, L. Cameron, M. Cavalcanti (eds.) Confronting Metaphor in Use: An Applied Linguistic Approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 45–62. Cameron, L. 2008b. Metaphor and talk. In R. Gibbs (ed.) The Cambridge handbook of metaphor and talk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 197-211. Cameron, L. 2003. Metaphor analysis in educational discourse. London: Continuum. Clandinin, D & Connelly, M. 2000. Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Re-search. San Franciso, CA: Jossey-Bass. Connelly, M. & Clandinin, J., 2006. Narrative inquiry. In J. Green, G. Camilli & P. Elmore, P (eds.), Handbook of complementary methods in education research. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 375–385. Fludernik, M. 2009. The cage metaphor: extending narratology into corpus studies and opening it to the analysis of imagery. In S. Heinen & R. Sommer (eds.) Narratologia: narratology in the age of cross-disciplinary narrative research. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 109–128. Gibbs, R. 2010. The wonderful, chaotic, creative, heroic, challenging world of researching and applying metaphor. In G. Low, Z. Todd & A. Deignan (eds.) Researching and applying metaphor in the real world. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Gibbs, R. & Cameron, L. 2008. The social-cognitive dynamics of metaphor performance. Cognitive Systems Research 9, 64–75. Johnson, E. 2016. 'That’s when I started putting my time into it:’ Stories and metaphors of music making. Paper presentation. ECER EERA 2016 Conference, 23–26 September 2016. Dublin, Ireland. Johnson, E., Heo, H., Reich, K., Leppisaari, I., & Lee, O. 2015. Exploring Exchange Students’ Global Minds in a Study Abroad Project. Journal of Intercultural Communication 38. Kövecses, Z. 2002. Metaphor: A practical introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. 2003/1980. Metaphors we live by. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Lieblich, A., Tuval-Mashiach, R. & Ziber, T. 1998. Narrative research. Reading, analysis and interpretation. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Littlemore, J., Krennmayr, T., Turner, J. & Turner, S. 2014. An investigation into metaphor use at different levels of second language writing. Applied Linguistics 35, 177-144. Schmitt, R. 2005. Systematic metaphor analysis as a method of qualitative research. The Qualitative Report 10, 358–394.
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