Theory, History and Self-Characterization of Social Margins in Public Writings
4. Analysing and Defending Intellectual Narratives 61
61 CHAPTER 4 Analysing and Defending Intellectual Narratives This chapter deals with the methodological issues related to intellectual narratives. To briefl y recapitulate, intellectual narratives refer to the bio- graphical aspects of oneself in telling a personal story; these aspects are refl ected in public writings, often with reference to particular theoretical traditions and individual experiences in relation to historical emplotment. In terms of the primary concern of methodology, unlike other biographi- cal studies, in which biography is undoubtedly the primary material for the construction of an authentic self, intellectual narratives have one more requirement: the intellectuals I interviewed were given leeway to explain their own theoretical perspectives in narrating themselves, with minimum interruption from the researcher during their intellectual narrations. This requirement demands more cross-checking techniques and thick descrip- tions of the interviewees’ narratives in order to secure a grounded theoreti- cal perspective of a personal story. Attention has to be paid to issues that bring out the critical vulnerability of research into intellectual narratives, namely the refl exivity of the researcher in treating an intellectual as an autonomous self, as opposed to categorizing him or her in terms of the hegemonic interests of institutions, or, so to speak, institutional nominal- ism, and in treating the question of the other(s) as the methodological pre-emption of a research subject’s voice. Among social researchers, narrative is often classifi ed as a variant of life stories. Pertti Alasuutari specifi es the traditions of life stories: in one stream, life stories are...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.