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Metaphors and Metamorphoses: Narratives of Identity During Times of Crisis

Robinson, Oliver and Smith, Jonathan (2009) Metaphors and Metamorphoses: Narratives of Identity During Times of Crisis. In: Narrative, Memory and Identities. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 85-94.

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The narrative of transformative crisis appears in both autobiographical and fictional accounts of individual lives; it typically involves a difficult or traumatic episode and a period of self-questioning out of which a person emerges more able and more emotionally mature than before (Booker, 2005; Erikson, 1968; Tedeschi and Calhoun, 1995). The present study used interviews to elicit 22 narratives about crises experienced between the ages of 25 and 40, and about any developmental transformation and change that surrounded these crises. Analysis revealed a common four-phase process to the crisis episodes, common metaphors and recurrent descriptions of identity metamorphosis, ie. of ‘becoming a new person’. Comparison of these findings with theory on fictional plots shows a clear parallel between the four-phase process of crisis found in the current study and the ‘rebirth’ plot described by Booker (2005). The theoretical significance of these findings and interpretations is discussed.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: Copyright for chapters remain with individual authors at all times and permission should be sought from the author for any reproduction other than for personal use.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > Narrative and Memory Research Group > Narrative and Memory Research Group Annual Conference
School of Human and Health Sciences
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Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2009 09:44
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2015 12:00


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