Narrative Portraiture

‘Narrative portraiture’ is an analytical approach to qualitative data. It brings the relationship between researcher and participants to the fore and by doing so, it highlights the interpretive power of the researcher and the ethical considerations around it.

By rearranging extracts of interviews, focus groups, and other narrative data, this analytic method helps researchers create first-person narratives that give a glimpse into the participants’ lives in a way that is simultaneously deep, succinct, and evocative.

Currently I am writing a book on this research method. The book will be divided into four sections, which will introduce (1) a structural narrative analysis method, (2) the use of phronesis in narrative analysis, (3) the concept of ‘imagined portraits’ as a collaborative approach between visual arts and social sciences, and (4) the use of ‘performative portraits’ for research communication and knowledge exchange. The main premise of the book is that through narrative portraiture, research findings can be contextualised in broader social narratives without losing sight of the unique personal qualities of the research encounter.