Tag: Documents of Life

NARRATIVE NOW An interview with Ken Plummer

Earlier this year I was interviewed by two dynamic sociologists, Ashley Barnwell and Signe Ravn – both at the University of Melbourne (see picture below). They run a regular podcast series NARRATIVE NOW. These look at different approaches to narrative and‘how to employ them. For episode 4 they interviewed me about my engagement over the…


Just to announce this annual course which I will be running again this year at the end of January 2014 at the University of Essex.

It is open to all . But as part of that endless money making machine called ‘university’, it now costs !

30-1 January 2014: Narrative research and documents of life

Professor Ken Plummer

At 10:00 in Seminar room 3, Constable Building.

Story tellings, and the narratives that accompany them, are basic human social processes; we are the narrating animal. Although such story tellings are often neglected in the orthodoxies of social research, they are usually critical to every stage of the human social research process.

Humanistic research places the human story at the research centre and adopts humanistic values in such research. It is interested in a wide array of tools for telling these stories, including photos, self analysis, artefacts and documentaries.

This course will look at some key recent trends in qualitative research, but especially the concern with narratives and stories. In the broadest terms we study the stories that people tell of their lives; we connect these stories to the stories of our lives; and we ultimately represent them as our ‘social science stories’ – in essays, theses, books, films, photos, media, conferences, exhibitions.

This course will take place from 30-31 January.

Learn more about these courses and book a place. ( Click back for info)


In 2011 Liz Stanley organised a conference to discuss developments in life story work since the publication  of  Documents of Life. This was a book I first published in 1983 when I was busy  using personal documents in research; and was re-written in 2001 as Documents of Life-2: An Invitation to a Critical Humanism. The…

Short course on life stories

Documents of Life: Narratives and Humanistic Social Research (two-day course): Professor Ken Plummer from Department of Sociology, University of Essex This course will run for two days on Thursday 31st January and Friday 1st February 2013 At 10:00 in Seminar Room 3, Constable Building, University of Essex, Colchester Campus. Course overview Story tellings, and the narratives that…

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