Research: Narratives and Storytelling

Oxford Dictionary Definition:



plural noun: narratives

1. a spoken or written account of connected events; a story. 

As human beings we have related and communicated with one another through the method of story telling for years and years. Listening to one another enables the broadening of culture and allows for better self construct in relation to a wider social environment.

Storytelling can be educational; formed, informed and re-formed in order to suit those surrounding them. Narratives are a form of discourse, the discursive way in which we organise, account for, give meaning to, and understand. The way in which people choose to organise their self identities are based on the experiences they have had, and by using narration of their lives they can develop a better understand the past the present and the future.





Multiple linked Narratives:

– Entertaining but only when full attention of audience has been achieved.

– Requires fast pace storyline, maintaining suspense and large quantity of narrative materials

Multiple Independent Narratives under the same topic:

– Free standing, more engaging, short and sharp so better hold attention of audience.

Realistic Fiction:

–      Stories that have their characters, settings and plot lines displayed as if they could really exist in reality

–      Requires detailed scripting and total audience engagement

Artistic Non Fiction:

– Allows audience to “be the story”, to put themselves within the content.

Fixed Single Narrative:

–      Good for clear interactivity

–      Bad for immersive experience, unspecified narrative pathway

Unstructured Pathway Narrative:

– See multiple independent narrative.


Theoretical Paradigms



–      Human culture is analysed, semiotically – as a systems of signs. What signs that we are connected to an online world?

–      Roman Jakobson, Claude Levi-Strauss, Jaques Lacan, Michael Foucalt, Louis Althusser, Roland Barthes

Post Structuralist:

–      Approach to textual analysis – reader replaces the author as the primary subject of enquiry.

–      History/culture/external factors need to be understood as well as the object itself because they can cause bias and misinterpretations.



Transmedia Storytelling:

–      Multiplatform method of narration

–      Knowing the audience is already out there – social media users, haters, lovers…everyone wants to have an opinion regardless of what it is.

–      Content is important but context and finding are key.

–      The transmedia, i.e. video, sound, image, links, colors, etc, requires the user/viewer/player to transform the content into context by engaging his or hers own, natural cognitive psychological abilities, and enables the meaning and realisation gained to surpass the actually medium and content itself.



–      Poetic. Historical material/lyrical

–      The Expository Mode = social issues, argumentative

–      The Observational Mode = social factors/freedom

–      Participatory – reliant on audience input/feedback, honesty and enthusiam

–      Reflexive – audience present

–      Performative – emotional and subjective context.


Media Theory:

– Self Identity, subjective identity, social identity (Barker 2008)

– Anti essentialist (changeable – target, those on the fence   about social media and could have their opinion swayed one way or the other. )

– Essentialist (Fixed opinion – those who will either love or hate the process, concept and idea)

– Semiotics – Saussure (1974) “signifier and signified”

– Barthes (1968) “denotation and connotation”

– How meaning is created from something   simplistic. This is essential because the project work mimics social media processes, functionalities etc.

– Sosnoski (2010) Cultural Configuration – “the performance of a cultural practice so that the listener or reader can learn how to behave as a member of the culture” – creating an insightful relatable experience.

– Gerbner (1960) Cultivation Theory – Cultivation of media technologys leaves people with a misperception of what is true in our world.