Stories as findings in collaborative research: making meaning through fictional writing with disadvantaged young people

Candice Satchwell, Cath Larkins, Gail Davidge, BERNIE CARTER

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Abstract

Working in a participatory research project with young people who are disabled, care-experienced or otherwise disadvantaged, collaborative fiction writing was a core method of hearing and amplifying their voices. We discuss how meanings were made in this iterative process of capturing resonances in the different stages of the research, resulting in the creation of stories filtered through many different participants. Through individual and joint reflections on the complex processes of constructing the 48 short stories, we demonstrate how collective story-telling can address criticisms of fictional research outputs as (in)valid social science, and argue instead that the resulting stories can be considered rigorous and faithful research findings. We suggest that these research outputs preserve and proliferate the meanings of marginalised young people, and challenge the absence or distortion of existing narratives about their lives as experienced by themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalQualitative Research
Volume18
Early online date21 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • collaborative research
  • stories
  • young people
  • participatory research
  • fiction
  • data analysis
  • collaboration
  • writing
  • meaning-making
  • story-making
  • narrative

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