Insights on Narrative Analysis from a Study of Racial Microaggressions and Microaffirmations

Rosalie Rolón-Dow 1 * , Michelle J. Bailey 1

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp. 1-18

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Stories that document the experiences of individuals are central to narrative research methods. Like narrative research, critical race theory (CRT) also values the experiential knowledge that can be documented through storytelling. CRT scholars, however, particularly focus on the use of storytelling to document how race and racism are understood and experienced by racially minoritized groups. As researchers, including CRT scholars, use narrative methods, they face many complex choices about which data analysis methods to use and how to use them. In this article, the authors feature a CRT research project to provide examples of three strategies they used for analyzing narrative data: restorying, typology development and classification, and memoing. The authors demonstrate the process of restorying to streamline participant narratives for a clearer understanding. They show the use of a typology for organization and exploration of stories based on common themes. And they outline how analytic memoing lends itself to exploring participant narratives more deeply by writing about them using consistent prompts. Overall, this article emphasizes working with whole narratives, understanding narratives as stories, and acknowledging participants and their narratives as a source of knowledge. While these analytic strategies can be applied to a wide range of research topics, the project featured in this article shows their potential and close alignment with research projects that employ a CRT framework.

Keywords: narrative research analysis, restorying, typology, analytic memos, Critical Race Theory.