ABSTRACT

When asked to describe either themselves or others, most people will launch into a series of stories which they feel are somehow revelatory (Bruner 1994:43). Sarbin (1986) identifies this as the ‘narratory principle’: ‘human beings think, perceive, imagine and make moral choices according to narrative structures’ (p. 8). We are ‘storied selves’ (Sarbin 1986; Rosenwald and Ochberg 1992): the activity of being human is intricately tied to the activity of telling and listening to stories. Stories are not only the way in which we come to ascribe significance to experiences we and others have had; they are one of the primary means through which we constitute our very selves.