Woodiwiss, Jo (2017) Challenges for Feminist Research: Contested Stories, Dominant Narratives and Narrative Frameworks. In: Feminist Narrative Research Opportunities and Challenges. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK, pp. 13-37. ISBN 978-1-137-48567-0

In this chapter I discuss narrative frameworks and dominant narratives. I argue for the need to go beyond the story as told to explore how and why we come to tell particular stories—often in the context of limited alternatives—and in doing so identify some of the difficulties for feminists in interrogating women’s stories. I draw on my own research on women’s engagement with narratives of childhood sexual abuse to explore how and why women might draw on such a narrative framework to construct themselves as damaged and responsible for their own unhappiness, often with no concrete memories on which to base their stories. In identifying some of the limitations of (telling) particular damage narratives the chapter also serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of contemporary stories.

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