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Metaphors and metamorphoses: narratives of identity during times of crisis

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: Robinson, David, Fisher, Pamela, Yeadon-Lee, Tracy, Robinson, Sarah Jane and Woodcock, Peter, (eds.) Narrative, memory and identities: selected papers from the eighth annual conference held at the Uiversity of Huddersfield, Saturday 12 April 2008. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK, 85 - 94.

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Abstract

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 Section
Additional Information: This chapter forms part of the selected papers from the eighth annual conference held, 12 April 2008, at the University of Huddersfield, UK.
Uncontrolled Keywords: identity metamorphoses, crisis, developmental transformation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
School of Health & Social Care
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:04
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/1632

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