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Covid-19 as a Generator of Pending Narratives: Developing an Empirical Tool to Analyze Narrative Practices in Constructing Futures
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2473-6330
Number of Authors: 12021 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Methods, E-ISSN 1609-4069, Vol. 20, article id 1609406921996855Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article describes the basic elements of the pending narrative and develops them into a tool of qualitative analysis by taking examples from Covid-19-related reports, opinions and editorials in the news. The pending narrative is a powerful story form, persuading the responsible actors in public to take action by stirring up compelling passion for a specific goal. It has a cogency that comes from the threat that if we do not act in the right way now, the continuity of life will be jeopardized. Crises are fertile breeding grounds for pending narratives, and the arrival of the Covid-19 virus is an expressive example of a situation threatening the continuity of human life around the globe. These circumstances feed on the emergence of pending narratives, which translate the unknown, uncertain and frightening future from open, multiple and unpredictable trajectories into more closed, predictable and controllable pathways. In the development of the pending narrative into a tool of qualitative analysis, the article takes influences from narratology, Bamberg's theory on positioning analysis, Greimas' narrative semiotics and critical discourse analysis. It proposes that in the analysis of pending narratives we benefit from the separation of three levels. On the first level, pending narratives highlight disorder and the menacing trajectory of the anti-subject, and outline a qualifying trajectory for the subject to overcome the threat. On the second level they persuade the responsible actors and the audience to identify with the qualifying trajectory and to take action or support it. And on the third level they articulate the kind of values, identities and moral order in aid of which the required action is taken.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. Vol. 20, article id 1609406921996855
Keywords [en]
narrative practice, pending narrative, Covid-19, story, interaction, ideology, empirical analysis, qualifying trajectory, emotion, master narrative
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-193124DOI: 10.1177/1609406921996855ISI: 000636214800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-193124DiVA, id: diva2:1557702
Available from: 2021-05-26 Created: 2021-05-26 Last updated: 2024-01-17Bibliographically approved

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Törrönen, Jukka

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