Analyzing for Critical Resistance in Narrative Research

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This paper details a narrative analysis strategy called critical resistance analysis (CRA). The aim of a CRA is to bring forward the kinds of subjects participants draw on when talking about themselves in narrative interviews and to make explicit how those subjects are resisted and desired. The CRA is distinguished from other narrative analyses of self in that it focuses on resistance in both its structural, anti-hegemonic and ‘poststructural’, self-refusal forms. The latter kind of resistance is what Hoy (2005) refers to as ‘critical’ resistance; the desire to undo oneself. A CRA looks for participant resistance in narrative and antenarrative (Boje, 2001) data. Antenarratives are incomplete stories that are often too fragmented to analyze using traditional narrative methods and can be seen as powerful examples of meaning-making in progress. A CRA newly brings an antenarrative understanding to the study of self in four analytic foci: deconstruction trace, discourse-argument, resistance and intersubjectivity analysis. Together these analytic foci reveal the subjects narrative participants seek (not) to be and afford a more complex understanding of how participants struggle with and against themselves.

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Qualitative Research, v. 14, issue 5, p. 586-602