The Narrative Complexity of Ordinary Life: Tales from the Coffee Shop

Hardcover | September 25, 2015

byWilliam L. Randall

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Our everyday lives are enmeshed in storytelling: the stories we tell about our memories, the people we know, and the world we inhabit; those we tell about our families and communities; and the narratives we encounter in books, movies, and television. Narrative structures how we view ourselvesand everything around us. In The Narrative Complexity of Ordinary Life, William L. Randall shows how concepts central to the study of narrative psychology - such as narrative development and the interrelation between narrative and identity, cognition, and development - are integral to everyday life. He makes the case thatall people function as narrative psychologists by continually storying their lives in memory and imagination, as well as speculating on the stories that others may be living, a process that Randall refers to as storyotyping. Relying heavily on narrative, Randall draws from experiences in his own life to illustrate various concepts in narrative psychology. Randall's inquiry also takes him to the topics of gossip, rumor, and the narrative complexity of nostalgia. He contemplates the storied nature of the news, and byextension, history. Randall discusses the nature of spirituality and religion as "master narratives." He also draws upon the work of Dan McAdams to discuss how the stories people internalize and tell to others reveal a great deal about the way in which they interpret and experience the world aroundthem, ultimately arguing that the recurring themes in people's lives shape their personalities.

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Our everyday lives are enmeshed in storytelling: the stories we tell about our memories, the people we know, and the world we inhabit; those we tell about our families and communities; and the narratives we encounter in books, movies, and television. Narrative structures how we view ourselvesand everything around us. In The Narrative C...

William L. Randall is Professor of Gerontology at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Brought up in rural New Brunswick, he studied at Harvard, Cambridge Princeton Seminary, and the University of Toronto. Prior to entering academic life, he served for ten years as a minister with the United Church of Canada. S...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 0.71 inPublished:September 25, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199930430

ISBN - 13:9780199930432

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Table of Contents

Prologue1. In the Beginning: The Story Behind the Book2. Medium with Milk: Setting the Scene3. The Story of My Life: Narrative as Metaphor4. The Story of My Life II: Novelty, Identity, and Narrative5. Hollyhocks and Hummingbirds: The Biographical Imperative6. Friends and Lovers: Narrative in Relationship7. The Tales that Bind: Narrative and Community8. Cigar in the Night: Storying the Past9. World without End: Story and SpiritEpilogueAppendix: Readings Between the Lines: A Bibliographic NoteReferencesIndex