Critical Humanism and Narrative Research: Bibliography

Critical Humanism, Symbolic Interactionism and Narrative Research: A Select Bibliography  

January 2013




Introductory reading for the course

Ken Plummer                           Documents of Life -2: an invitation to a critical humanism (2001) Sage
Ken Plummer                           Sociology: The Basics (2010) Routledge

Howard S Becker                      Telling about Society (2007) Chicago

C.Wright Mills                                     The Sociological Imagination : Appendix (1962) Oxford
Les Back                                  The Art of Listening (2007) Berg

Liz Stanley                               Documents of Life Revisited (2013) Ashgate


The qualitative turn

Norman Denzin & Yvonna

Lincoln                                                Handbook of Qualitative Research (various editions since 1994: 4th edition 2012)

Jaber Gubrium

& James Holstein                     The New Language of Qualitative Method  (1997) Oxford

Some Styles of qualitative research

Norman Denzin                       Performance Ethnography ( 2003) Sage

Sarah Pink                               Doing Sensory Ethnography  (2009) Sage

Paul Thompson                                   Voice of the Past: Oral History (2000 3rd ed) Opus

Helen Thomas &

Jamilah Ahmed                        Cultural Bodies: Ethnography and Theory (2003)Wiley

Zauzsa Gille & Sean O Riain ‘ Global Ethnography’ Annual Review of Sociology 2002 Vol 28: 271-295

Graeme Sullivan                       Art Practice as Research (2009 2nd ed ) Sage

Gillian Rose                              Visual Methodologies   (2009 2nd ed) Sage

Robert V Kozinets                    Netnography   (2009) Sage
Christian Heath                        Video in Qualitative Research  (2008) Sage

Paula Sauko                              Doing Research in Cultural Studies (2003) Sage

David Silverman ed                  Qualitative Research (2010 3nd edition) Sage

Ann Gray                                 Research practice for cultural studies (2003) Sage

Mike Savage &

Roger Burrows                          ‘The Coming Crisis of Empirical Sociology’  Sociology (October 2007) Vol 41 p885-900

See also: Thick Description Geertz, Clifford. “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture”. In The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. (New York: Basic Books, 1973) 3-30.See:


Critical qualitative research

Norman Denzin                       The Qualitative Manifesto: A Call to Arms (2010) Left Coast Press

D.Soyini Madison         Critical Ethnography: Method, Ethics and Performance. (2005) Sage

Gayle Letherby                        Feminist Research in Theory and  Practice (2003) OU Press

Dorothy Smith             The Everyday World as Problematic  (1988) Northeastern University Press

————                    Writing the Social (1998) Toronto

Marjorie de Vault         Liberating Methodology: Feminism and Research (1999) Temple

Michael Buroway et al Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections and Imaginations in a Postmodern World  (2000) California

Norman Denzin

and Yvonne Lincoln                The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research 3rd edition Sage  (2007)  (but other editions are worth looking at- they are different)

Linda T Smith              Decolonizing Methodologies  Zed Books 1999

Norman K.Denzin &

Yvonna S.Lincoln&

Linda Tuhiwai Smith    Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies eds  (2008) Sage

Judith Butler                 Giving a Stance of Oneself (2005) Fordham University

Kath Browne et al        Queer Methods and Methodologies  (2010) Ashgate
Chela Sandoval             Methodology of the Oppressed  (2000) University of Minnesota



General Narrative/ Story Texts

Jaber Gubrium &

James Holstein                         Varieties of Narrative Analysis (2013)
———————-                       Analyzing Narrative Reality
(2008) Oxford.

———————-                   The Self We Live By  (2000)  Oxford

Molly Andrews                         Shaping History: Narratives of Political Change (2007) Cambridge

Ken Plummer                           Telling Sexual Stories: Power, change and social worlds (1995) Routledge

Dan P.McAdams                      The Stories We Live By: Personal myths and the making of the self  (1993) Guildford
Marianne Horsdal                     Telling Lives: Exploring Dimensions of Narratives (2012). Routledge

Charles Tilly                            Stories, Identities and Political Change (2002) Rowman and Littlefield

Kay Schaffer & Sidonie Smith Human Rights and Narrated Lives: The ethics of recognition (2004) Palgrave

Joseph E Davis                         Stories of Change: Narrative and Social Movements  (2002) SUNY Press

David Maines                           The Faultline of Consciousness (2001). Part 3 Narrative Sociology. Aldine

Rita Charon                             Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness (2006) Oxford

Arthur Frank                            The Wounded Storyteller: Body Illness and Ethics, 1997 Chicago

Arthur Frank                            Letting Stories Breathe (2010) Chicago

Mary Jo Maynes, Jennifer L. Pierce &
Barbara Laslett                                     Telling Stories: The Use of Personal Narratives in the Social Sciences and History  (2008) Cornell University

Christine Bold                          Using Narrative in Research 2011 Sage

Kathleen Wells                                    Narrative Inquiry  , 2011, OUP

On Narrative

As with all these topics, there is massive amounts of writing. A nice concise introduction is:

H.Porter Abbott                       The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative (2nd edition 2008) Cambridge

And see also for short discussions of key issues:

David Herman, Manfred Jahn & Marie-Laure Ryan eds Routledge Encyclopeadia of Narrative Theory. (2005) Routledge


Gerard Genette                         Narrative Discourse Revisited (1988) Cornell

D. Jean Clandinin & F.

Michael Connelly                     Narrative inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research   (2007) Sage

Paul Ricoeur                             Time and Narrative (1990) Chicago

Richard Rorty                          Contingency, Irony & Soldiarity (1989) Cambridge

Contrasting strategies of qualitative and narrative  analysis:

Jane Elliott                              Using  Narrative in Social Research (2005) Sage
Catherine Kohler Reisman       Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences (2007) Sage

Jaber Gubrium &

James Holstein                         Analyzing narrative reality (2008) Oxford.

Bruner, Jerome                         ‘ Life as narrative’ Social Research, (1987) 54 (1): 11-32.

McAdams, D. (1993)              The Stories We Live By  (1993). New York: Guildford Press

Sidonie Smith & Julia Watson  Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives 2001 Minnesota

Molly Andrews and

Corrine Squires                          Doing narrative Research (2008) Sage

Cathy Charmaz                                    Constructing Grounded Theory (2006) Sage

John Lofland, David Snow,
Leon Anderson & Lyn H.LoflandAnalyzing Social Settings (2006) 4th ed

Adele Clarke                            Situational Analysis: Ground theory after the Postmodern Turn (2005 Sage )

Wendy Hollway &
Tony Jefferson                                    Doing qualitative research differently: free association, narrative and the interview method    (2000) Sage  (psycho-analysis)

Jonathan Smith,

Michael Larkin and

Paul Flowers                             Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (ISA) (2008)  (psychological and phenomenological)

Ruth Wodak &

Michael Meyer eds                   Methods for Critical Discourse Analysis  (2007 2nd ed) Sage

Norman Fairclough                  Critical Discourse Analysis (2010) Longman

Prue Chamberlayne,
Joanna Bornat &
Tom Wengraf                          The Turn to Biographical Methods in Social Sciences  (2001)

Martin W.Bauer & George Kaskell Qualitative Researching with text, image and sound: A Practical Handbook  (2000) Sage

Literary and textual analysis

Aristotle                                  Poetics  (Penguin Classics; Kindle)

John Sutherland                                    50 Literary Ideas  2010 Quercus

Michael Ryan                           Literary Theory: 2nd edition 2007 Wiley

See more specifically:

Vladamir Propp                                    The Morphology of the Folk Tale Rev ed 1968 Texas

Michael Tierno                                    Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters  2002 Hyperion

Elsbree Langtree                      The Rituals of Life: Patterns of Narratives 1982

Chistopher Booker                   The Seven Basic Plots: why we tell stories (2004) Continuum


Social change, generations, memories.

Julie McLeod &

Rachel Thompson                    Researching Social Change  (2009) Sage

June Edmunds and

Bryan S. Turner eds                  Generational Consciousness, Narrative and Politics (2002) Rowman and Littlefield

Karl Mannheim                        ‘The problem of generations’ in P. Keksmeti ed Essays in the sociology of knowledge p276-323 (1952) Routledge

Daniel Bertaux &

Paul Thompson eds                  Between generations: family models, myths and memories (1993) Transaction

Julia Brannan, P.Moss

& A. Monney                          Working and caring over the twentieth century (2004) Palgrave

June Edmunds &

Bryan  Turner                          Generations, culture and society (2002) Open University

Maurice Halbwachs                   On Collective Memory  (1992) Chicago

G.J.Ashworth et al                    Pluralising Pasts: Heritage, Identity and Place in Multicultural Societies. (2007) Pluto

G. Rosenthal                            The Holocaust in three generations: families and perpetrators of the Nazi regime  (1998) Casells

Jose van Dijck                                      Mediated Memories in the Digital Age (2007) Stanford

Paul Ricoeur                             Memory, History, Forgetting  (2006) University of Chicago





Writing Social Science

Paul Atkinson                                                  The Ethnographic Imagination  Routledge (1990)

Howard S Becker                                  Writing for Social Scientists  Chicago (1986)

James Clifford & G E Marcus               Writing Culture: The Poetics and politics of Ethnography (1986) University of California
John Van Maanen                                Tales of the field: On writing ethnography (1988) Chicago

Laurel Richardson                                Writing strategies: Reaching diverse audience (1990) Sage

H.L. Goodall                                        Writing Qualitative Inquiry: Self, Stories and Academic Life (2008) Left Coast Press


Challenging the Orthodox Social Science Narrative

Ben Agger                                            Public Sociology (2000) Rowman and Littlefield

Norman Denzin (2004)                                    Performance Ethnography  Sage

Richard Schechner                                Performance Studies 2nd ed 2002/7 Routledge

Margery Wolf, M (1992)                     A Thrice Told Tale: Feminism, Postmodernism and Ethnographic Responsibility. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Carolyn Ellis and Art Bochner (1996)  Composing Ethnography: Alternative forms of qualitative writing  Alta Mira

Anna Franks & Stephen Banks (1998)  Fiction and Social Research: By Ice or Fire  Alta Mira

Ronald Berger & Richard Quinney        Storytelling Sociology: Narrative as Social Inquiry 2005: Lynne Rinner
The Reflexivity Turn

Pierre Bourdieu, P. & L. Wacquant (1992) An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. University of Chicago Press.

Amanda Coffey  (1999)                       The Ethnographic Self: Fieldwork and the Representation of Identity. London: Sage.

Hertz, R (ed). (1997).                                     Reflexivity and Voice. London: Sage

Etherington, Kim (2004)                     Becoming a Reflexive Researcher: Using our selves in research (2004) Jessica Kingsley
Barry Glassner, B. & Hertz, R. eds (1999) Qualitative Sociology as Everyday Life. London: Sage

Carol Rambo Ronai,  (1992)                ’ A Reflexive Self Through Narrative: A Night in the Life of an Erotic Dancer’’, in Ellis and Flaherty, Investigating Subjectivity (1992) op cit Ch 5
Michael Hemmington                          Auto/Ethnographies: Sex & Death and Symbolic Interaction in the Eighth Moment of Qualitative Inquiry.  2009 Borgo Press

The Digital Turn

John Hartley & Kelly McWilliam        Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the world  (2009) Wiley
Bryan Alexander                                  The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media (2011) Praeger

Joe Lambert (2013)                             Digital storytelling  (2012 4th edition) Routledge




Stories as personal – Narrative Psychology and the Stories We Live By

Dan P Mcadams                                   The Stories we live By: Personal Myths and the Making of the Self (1993);   and see his other books like The Redemptive Self , 2006 ; Power, Intimacy  and the Life Story, 1988; as well as web site for the Center  he directs at The Foley Centre,

Jerome Bruner                                      Making Stories: Law, Literature, Life (2002) Harvard

————                                            Actual minds, possible worlds (1986) Harvard

———                                                            Acts of Meaning (1990) Harvard
Jaber Gubrium and James A Holstein     The self we live by (2001) Oxford

See also the work of the late Miller Mair at

And you may like to contrast all this with the more formal and critical sociological approach of books like

Nikolas Rose                                        Inventing Our Selves: Psychology, Power and Personhood (1998) Sage


Narratives and Stories as therapy

Arthur Frank                            The Wounded Story Teller  (1997) Chicago

Arthur Kleinman                      The Illness Narratives (1989) Basic

Hilde Lindemann Nelson          Damaged identities: Narrative repair (2001) Cornell

John McLeod (1997)              Narrative and Psychotherapy Sage

Faye Ginsburg                           Disrupted Lives: how people create meaning out of chaotic lives (1999) California

D. Spence                                 Narrative truth and historical truth: meaning and interpretation in psychoanalysis (1982) Norton

Oliver Sachs                             The man who mistook his wife for a hat ((1985) Duckworth

Michael White                         Maps of Narrative Practice (2007) Norton


Narratives and Stories as Moral Imagination: Narrative Ethics and Grounded Moralities

Arendt, Hannah                       The Human Condition ( 1958)
Coles, Robert (1989)                The Call of Stories : Teaching and the Moral Imagination. Boston: Houghton Mifflin

———– (2010)                      Handing One Another Along: Literature and Social Reflection. NY: Random House

Eakin, Paul John ed (2004)      The Ethics of Life Writing  Cornell University Press

Frank, Arthur W. (2004)         The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, Medicine and How to Live. Chicago

———– (2010)                      Letting Stories Breathe. Chicago

Himmelfarb, Gertrude (2006)   The Moral Imagination: From Burke to Trilling. London:Souvenir

Lara, Maria P (1998)               Moral Textures: Feminist Narratives in the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Polity

MacIntyre, Alastair (1984)      After Virtue: A Study in Moral Reasoning. Oxford

Noblit, George W. & Van O Dempsey The social construction of virtue: the moral life of schools (1996) SUNY.
Nelson, Hilde Lindemann ed (1997) Stories and their limits: Narrative approaches to bioethics. Routledge

————-(2001)                    Damaged Identities , Narrative Repair. Cornell UP.

Nussbaum, Martha  (1997)       Cultivating Humanity.  (1997) Harvard

Plummer, Ken (2003)              Intimate Citizenship (2003) Ch 7: “Stories and the Grounded Moralities of Everyday Life”.

Plummer, Ken (1999)              ‘The ‘ethnographic society’ at century’s end: clarifying the role of public ethnography’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 28 (6).

Rorty, Richard (1989)              Contingency, Irony, Solidarity. Cambridge

Witherell, C. & N.Noddings eds. (1991) Stories Lives Tell: Narrative and Dialogue in Education. New York: Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Narratives and Counter stories as Politics and Global/Glocal

Kay Schafer & Sidonie Smith  Human Rights and Narrated Lives (2004) Palgrave

Ken Plummer                                       Intimate Citizenship (2003)  esp Ch 7 University of Washington

Molly Andrews                         Shaping history: Narratives of  political change (2007) Cambridge
Charles Tilly                            Stories, identities and political change ( (2002) Rowman & Littlefield

Michael Jackson                       The Politics of storytelling (2002) Museum Tusculanum Press
Francesca  Poletta                    It was like a fever: storytyelling in protest and politics (2006) Chicago

Arthur Kleinman                      Writing at the edge: discourse between anthropology and medicine (1995) California

Rickie Sollinger et al                Telling stories to change the world  (2008) Routledge

Joseph Davis                            Stories of Change: Narrative and social movements  (2002) SUNY

Nick Couldry                            Why Voice Matters: Culture & Politics after Neoliberalism (2010) Sage



Kay Schafer and Sidonie Smith             Human rights and Narrated Lives: The ethics of recognition (2004) Palgrave

Ken Plummer                           Intimate Citizenship: Private Decisions and Public Dialogues (2003)Washington
Human Rights

Fagan, Andrew                         The Atlas of Human Rights  2010 Myriad

Morris, Lydia  ed                      Rights: Sociological Perspectives 2006  Routledge

Freeman, Michael                    Human Rights 2002  Polity

Ishay, M.R. (2004)                  The History of Human Rights: From ancient times to the globalization era, California: California University Press

Ishay, Micheline R  ed              The Human Rights Reader  ( 2nd ed 2007 Routledge)

Lukes, Steven                           ‘Five Fables About  Human Rights’ in On Human Rights ed Stephen Shute and Susan Huxley (1993: Oxford)

Central  Values Debates

Amartya Sen                            The Idea of Justice (2009) Allen Lane.

Michael Sandel                                     Justice: What’s the right thing to do? (2007/2009) Penguin
Iris Marion Young                    Justice and the politics of difference (1990) Princeton

Nancy Fraser                            ‘From Redistribution to Recognition: Dilemmas of Justice in a ‘Post-socialist’ Age’.   in Nancy FraserJustice Interruptus (1997: Chapter 1)
————                                The Scales of Justice

Sam Harris                               The Moral Landscape:How Science Can Determine Human Values (2011) Bantham.

Lukes, Steven                           Moral Relativism  2008 Profile  

Peter Singer                             Writings on an Ethical Life  (2000) Harper Collins
Ronld Dworkin                                     Justice for Hedgehogs (2011)

Dialogic Ethics, Communication Ethics and Multiculturalism

Taylor, Charles  et al               Multiculturalism: Examining the politics of recognition (1994) Princeton

Frank, Arthur                           Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-Narratology (2010)

Bakhtin, Michel                                   The Dialogic Imagination
Arendt , Hannah                      The Human Condition

Habermas, Jurgen                     Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (1992) Polity

Ronald C.Arnett et al               Communication, Ethics, Literacy: Dialogue and Difference. (2009) Sage

Benhabib, Seyla                        The Claims of Culture: Equality and diversity in the global era (2002) Princeton

Susan Moller Okin ed               Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? (1999)

Zygmunt Bauman                     Postmodern Ethics (1999) Blackwell

Lois McNay                             Against Recognition (2008) Polity

Kwame Anthony Appiah         The Ethics of Identity (2007) Princeton

Research Ethics

Mark Israel & Iain Hay                        Ethics for Social Sciences (2006) Sage

Ken Plummer                           Documents of Life   (2001) Sage Ch 10

Roisin Ryan-Flood &

Rosalind Gill                             Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process  (2010) Routledge

Clifford G.Christians                ‘Ethics and Politics in Qualitative Research’ (2011) in Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research ed by N Denzin & Y S Lincoln 2011  Ch 4 p p61-80
Martin Johnson                        Research Ethics in the Real World (2006) Elsevier


Human Capabilities & The work of Martha Nussbaum

On capabilities

Martha Nussbaum                     Creating Capabilities: the Human Development Approach  (2011) Harvard)

Special issues of the journal Signs: Globalization and Gender, Vol 26, No 4 (2001)

Martha Nussbaum                     Women and human development (2000) Cambridge. Chapter1

Martha Bussbaum                     Sex and social justice (1999) Oxford Chapter 1

Amrita Chhachhi & Howard Nicholas “Forum 2006”, in Development and Change (2006) Vol 37, No6 especially article by Nussbaum who replies to the debates.

For an interview with her, see Conversations with History: Martha Nussbaum on the Youtube at

and for a textbook on the whole tradition, see:

Sevrine Deneulin et al              An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach: Freedom and Agency   (2009) Earthscan


On cosmopolitanism

Mitchell Aboulafia                   The Cosmopolitan Self: Gerorge Hebert Mead and continental philosophy (2001) Illinois

Kwame Anthony Appiah         Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006)

Bob Fine                                  Cosmopolitanism (2008) Routledge

Robert J.Holton                                   Cosmopolitans (2009) Palgrave

Gerard Delanty                         The Cosmopolitan Imagination (2009) Cambridge

Being Good

Sarah Bakewell                         How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question  and twenty attempts  at an answer (2009)  Chatto and Windus

Simon Blackburn                      Being Good:  short introduction to ethics (2001) Oxford

A.C.Grayling                            The Good Book (2011)

————                                     The Choice of Hercules  (2007) Weidenfeld

Terry Eagleton                                    The Meaning of Life  (2007) Oxford University Press

Damien Keown                                    Buddhist Ethics  (2005) Routledge




Symbolic Interaction Methodologies

Herbert Blumer                                    Symbolic Interactionism (1969) Prentice
Cathy Charmaz                                    Constructing Grounded Theory (2006) Sage

Norman Denzin                                   The Research Act (orig. 1971: reprint 2009) Aldine

Norman Denzin &

Yvonna Lincoln eds                 Handbook of Qualitative Research (various editions) Sage

John Lofland, David Snow,
Leon Anderson & Lyn

H.Lofland                                Analyzing Social Settings (2006) 4th ed

Jaber Gubrium & James Holstein Analyzing Narrative Reality  (2009) Sage

Adele Clarke                            Situational Analysis: Ground theory after the Postmodern Turn (2005 Sage )

Robert Prus                              Symbolic Interaction & Ethnographic Research: Intersubjectivity and the Study of Human Lived Experience  (1996) SUNY

Critical Humanism

I suppose my own major statement of what I mean by this term is still to be found in the appendix of Documents of Life-2 ( 2001). Look also at:

Richard Rorty                          ‘The Humanist Intellectual: Eleven Theses’  In Richard Rorty Philosophy and Social Hope (1999) Penguin

Jerome Kagan                          The Three Cultures  2009 Cambridge

Robert Coles                            Handling One Another Along: Literature and Social Reflection – On Character, Courage and Compassion (2010) Random House.

Ian Wilkinson                          Suffering: A Sociological Introduction (2005) Polity

Daniel Liechty                         The Ernest Becker Reader (2005) Washington

Pauline Johnson                                   Feminism as radical Humanism  (1994) Sydney

Alan Finkielkraut                     In the name of humanity (2001) Pimlico

Martin Halliwell & Andy Mousley Critical humanisms (2003) Edinburgh
Jeff Noonan                             Critical humanism and the politics of difference (2003) McGill


Early Sociological Sources

C.Wright Mills                         The Sociological Imagination (1961) Oxford

Peter Berger                             Invitation to Sociology (1963) Peguin

Alfred McLung Lee                  Sociology for whom (1978) Oxford

Alfred McLung Lee                  Toward Humanist Sociology (1973) Prentice

Alfred McLung Lee                  Sociology for People (1988) Syracuse

Short introductions to humanism ( but NOT Critical humanism)

Tony Davies                            Humanism   (1997)  Routledge

Richard Norman                       On Humanism (2004) Routledge

Margaret Knight ed                  Humanist Anthology ( (1961/2005) Rationalist Press Association

Nichols Walter                         Humanism: What’s in the Word ?(1997) Rationalist Press Association

A.C.Grayling                            The Choice of Hercules (2008) Weidenfeld and Nicolson

A few interesting studies

NB These authors may not call themselves critical humanists, but their work meets my criteria!

Stanley Cohen                          States of denial: knowing about atrocities and suffering (2001) Polity

Nancy Scheper-Hughes Death without weeping: the violence of everyday life in Brazil  (1992) University of California Press

Arthur Kleinmann                    What Really Matters: Living a moral life amidst uncertainty and danger ( 2006) Oxford

Arthur Frank                            The Wounded Story Teller: Body, illness and ethics (1995) Chicago

Martha Nussbaum                     Sex and social justice  (2000) Oxford.





Biography and life story

Brian Roberts                                       Biographical Research (2002) Open University

Sidonie Smith & Julia Watson (2001) Reading Autobiography: A guide for interpreting life narrative Minnesota

Charlotte Linde                                    Life Story: The Creation of coherence (1993) Oxford

Robert Atkinson                      The Life Story Interview (1998) Sage

Norman Denzin                       Interpretive Biography (1989) Sage

Dan Goodley et al                    Researching life stories (2004) Routledge

Pru Chamberlayne et al                        The turn to biographical methods in social science (2000) Routledge

Carol Smart                              Personal Life  (2007) Polity

Cohorts and Life Development

Leonie Sugarman                      Life Span Development 2nd ed 2001 Taylor and Francis
Sheila Anderson et al                Inventing Adulthood: A Biographical Approach to Youth Transitions (2006) Sage

Philip L.Hamack & Bertram J.Cohler  The Story of Sexual Identity: Narrative Perspectives on the  Gay and Lesbian Life Course  (2009) Oxford


Two classics of the Life Story.

W.I.Thomas and F.Znaniecki The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (1919-21) Dover

Clifford Shaw                The Jack Roller: A Delinquent Boy’s Own Story  (1966ed) Chicago Press

Practical story telling there are a lot of books like this: here is the smallest of variety

Judith Barrington                     Writing the Memoir 2nd ed 2002 Eight Mountain Press
Lois King                                 How to write your own life story   4th ed  1997  Chicago Review Press
Faith Gibson                             Reminiscence and Life Story Work 4th ed 2011  Jessica Kinglsey

Sophie Gibson                                      How to write your life story in 10 easy steps  ( 2010) How to books

Christinea Baldwin                   Storycatcher: Making sense of our lives through the power of story  2005  New World Library, California


Special issue: Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (Vol 35 No 4, August 2006)

Carolyn Ellis Final                   Negotiations: A story of love, loss and chronic illness Temple (1995)
Ellis, Carolyn.                          The Ethnographic I: A Methodological Novel about Autoethnography. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press, 2004.

Carolyn Ellis & Art Bochner    Composing ethnography 1996 Alta Visa
Coffey, P. (1999).                   The ethnographic self. London: Sage.
Kriger, Susan (1996)                The Family Silver: Essays on Relationships among women.  University of California Press ( see also her The Mirror Dance – on lesbian life).
Carol Rambo Ronai…‘A night in the life of a dancer/research: a layered account’ in Carolyn Ellis and Michael Flaherty Investigating subjectivity p102-24

——Multiple reflections of child sex abuse: an argument for a layered account Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 23: 395-426

—–My mother is mentally retarded in  Ellis and Bochner op cit Composing Ethnography (above) p109- 131

Stacy Holman Jones “Autoethnography: Making the Personal Political” in Denzin and

Lincoln, Handbook 3rd edition 2005 p 763-91

Heween Chang                         Autoethnography as method (2008) Left Coast Press
Michael Hemmingson              Auto/Ethnographies  (2009) The Borgo Press

See also the work of Andrew Sparkes via his website and journal. Search:

Andrew Sparkes , Qualitative Research Unit, and

Photographic Narratives in Sociology

Theory and method
Pierre Bourdieu            Photography: A middle brow Art  Polity (1990)
Terry Barrett, 2005     Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Understanding Images. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Co., 4th edition.
Liz Wells, 2004 3rd edition Photography: A Critical Introduction
Richard Howells           Visual Culture (2003)
Howard Becker, 1995. “Visual sociology, documentary photography, and photojournalism: it’s (almost) all a matter of context.” Visual Sociology 10: 1/2: 5-14.
bell hooks, 1995.         “In Our Glory: Photography and Black Life”, in bell hooks, Art on My Mind: Visual Politics. New York: New Press, pp. 54-64.
Gillian Rose                  Visual Methodologies   (2009 2nd ed) Sage

Dorothea Lange                       Dorothea Lange (2001) Phaedra
Nardo, Don                  Migrant Mother: How a photograph defined the great depression (2011) Capstone
Linda Gordon               Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits 2009 WW Norton

Douglas Harper, 1988. “Visual Sociology: Expanding Sociological Vision”, The American Sociologist, Spring, pp. 54-70.  And see also his: Douglas Harper  Good Company  (and his web site) – and samples of his work:
with Caroline Knowlees   Hong Kong: Migrant Lives, Landscapes and Journeys (2009) Chicago
and Patrizia Faccioli  The Italian Way: Food and Social Life (2009) Chicago

Cathy Greenblat Alive with Alzheimer’s (2000) ( a book which you can also find sample from at;
Her forthcoming  work is: Life, Laughter and Love

Dianne Hagaman Howie Feeds Me  can be accessed free via   and her book is How I learned not to be a photojournalist
Kevin Bales et al Documenting Disposable People (2009) Hayward Publishing

Documentary film narrative
Paul Ward                    Documentary: The Margins of  Reality  (2005) Wallflower: short introduction
Sharon R.Sherman        Documenting ourselves: film, video and culture (1998) Kentucky
Robert Coles                Doing Documentary Work (1997) NYPL/Oxford
Alexandra Juhasz          AIDS TV: Identity, Community and Alternative Video (1995) Duke

Digital narratives

Ruth Page and Bronwen

Thomas eds                  New Narratives: Stories and Story Telling in the Digital Age (2011) Nebraska

Robert V.Kozinets        Netnography: Doing ethnographic research online. (2010) Sage

Tom Boellstorff                        Coming of age in second life (2008) Princeton

Jill Walker Rettbers      Blogging  (2009) Polity

Gregg Meyers               The Discourse of Blogs and Wikis (2009) Continuum

Claire Hewson et al      Internet Research Methods (2003) Sage

Maria Bakardijieva       Internet Society: The Internet in Everyday Life (2005) Sage
Nicholas Hookway       ‘Entering the Blogosphere’ Qualitative Research (2008) Vol 8 No 1 p91-113

Narrative Medicine
Arthur Kleinmann.       The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing And the Human Condition ((1988) Basic Books  – the front runner book. Deeply influential, and he has published a lot more

Howard S.Brody           Stories of Sickness. Oxford University Press (2003, 2nd edition).

G.Thomas Couser         Recovering Bodies: Illness, Disability and Life writing (1997)University of Wisconsin Press.

Arthur W Frank           The Wounded Story Teller: Body Illness and ethics (1995) Chicago

Arthur W Frank           The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, Medicine and How to Live (2004) Chicago

Rita Charon.                Narrative Medicine: Honoring the stories of illness (2006) Oxford.


‘Social ‘ Classics of Narrative Medicine

Julius Roth                   Timetables: Structuring the passage of time in hospital treatments and other careers Bobbs Merrill (1963)

Irving Zola                   Missing Pieces Temple University Press (1982)

Arthur W.Frank           At the will of the body: Reflections on illness Houghton Mifflin 2002

Ann Oakley                 Fracture: Adventures of a Broken Body  Polity (2007)




Some key qualitative journals (Often exceedingly dull – unless you find a topic that interests you!)

Auto/Biography Studies

Auto/Biography Annual Review

Journal of Contemporary Ethnography

Life Writing
Forum: Qualitative Social Research
Qualitative Research

Qualitative Sociology

Qualitative Inquiry

International Journal of Qualitative  Research
Qualitative Health Research

Discourse Studies

….. but there are many others

Some centres and websites 

International Auto/Biography Association

Centre for Narrative (University of East London)

Centre for Qualitative Research (University of Bournemouth)

Qualitative Research Unit (University of Exeter)

BSA Auto/Biography Group: access via British Sociological Association

Kip Jones  Performative Social Science: Kip’s World:
Sage Research Methods On Line

See also the project: Writing Across Boundaries.

This is a project which gets various social scientists who have published quite a bit to reflect on the nature of their writing. It includes pieces by  Howard Becker, Harvey Molotch, Marilyn Strathborn and Liz Stanley, myself and many others: see

 On this website you will also find resources relating to a variety of themes that engage writers in the social sciences. These include and Drafting and Plotting, the Data-Theory Relationship, Narrative, Rhetoric, and Representation and Hints and Tips on Writing


Ken Plummer January 2013

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