Molly Andrews – Using Narratives to Study Social Change

Event Date: 8 May 2013
Room 532, Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research presents:

Using Narratives to Study Social Change

Doing Critical Social Research

This is the fourth in this seminar series.

Speaker: Molly Andrews (Professor of Political Psychology UEL , and Co-director of the Centre for Narrative Research)

Narratives are not only the means by which individuals breathe public life into personal experience, they are a primary tool by which individuals recognise and affirm themselves as members of a group, thereby often acting as a catalyst for the raising of political consciousness. Narratives can thus play a vital role in de-individualising that which is personal; rendering experience into a narrative form can help individuals to become more actively engaged in shaping the conditions of their lives. Stories, then, are not just within the domain of the individual, but are built upon the collective memory of a group, just as they help to create how that memory is mobilised and for what purposes. This paper will explore the relationship between micro and macro political narratives, in other words the dynamic interplay between the stories of individuals (both told and untold) and the contested stories of the communities in which they live.

Molly Andrews‘ research interests include the psychological basis of political commitment, psychological challenges posed by societies in transition to democracy, patriotism, conversations between generations, gender and aging, and counter-narratives. Her monographs include Shaping History: Narratives of Political Change (Cambridge 2007) and Narrative Imagination and Everyday Life (Oxford 2013).

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