Capacities of narrative research method in the Field of Higher Education Studies

Document Type : Original Article



Narrative literature reviews could serve an essential scientific function, but few resources help people learn to write them through manuals or descriptions. The present paper aims to introduce the research capacities of narrative inquiry methodology in the field of higher education studies. Through documentary method by searching different scientific websites like SAGE, Elsevier, Springer, and etc. for related articles between 2000 and 2017, 22 documents were retrieved, and after the initial review, 13 documents were selected based on the criteria of utility and being up-to-date. To explore these resources, Altheide's process of document analysis (1996) was used. It seems that, there are four comprehensive narrative approaches which could be used in higher education researches: 1) Psychological approach, 2) Sociological approach, 3) Narration and individual’s interpretation of the narration according their specific cultural experiences, and 4) Institutional-organizational approach. Despite the potential of narrative studies and academic elites’ worthy accumulated experiences and other areas and due to the dominance of positivism in higher education and low acquaintance of researcher with narrative methods, researchers have taken a few advantage of this method in higher education area. This article, considering narrative methods’ limitations, intends to illustrate new horizons to utilize this method in higher education studies.


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