BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Narrative as process and artefact and some implications – the use and role of motif

    Fear, William J. and Azambuja, R. (2014) Narrative as process and artefact and some implications – the use and role of motif. In: Cognitive Futures in the Humanities: 2nd International Network Conference, 24-26 Apr 2014, Durham, UK.

    [img] Slideshow
    MOTIF presentation FIN.pptx - Presentation

    Download (268kB)


    Narrative is typically conflated with story with an attendant lack of consideration for what might be important distinctions between the two. Similarly, narrative is typically considered as an object but the recognition of the object as an artefact - a cultural tool - is disregarded. Rarely is narrative considered as a process and even less so as both a process and an artefact. In this paper we draw on the work of scholars from both Psychology and Humanities in an attempt to demonstrate that narrative is both a process and an artefact and consider some of the implications for this understanding. In particular, we present an understanding of the role of motif. Motif, we suggest, is a powerful tool used to both build and represent shared meanings and to recognise recurring patterns. Of course, the former understanding is widely acknowledged in literary studies, but less so in other disciplinary studies of narrative. Our current work demonstrates how a linguistic motif is both used to influence policy in a global field (healthcare) and by recognising and identifying the motive we can draw insights into the functions of ‘the system’. This parallels work in neuroscience and cognitive science where motifs are recognised as an important artefact for understand complex chemical interactions in the brain. We argue that work is required to de-conflate narrative and story, and to distinguish between the role of narrative as process and the forms of narrative as artefacts (e.g. story, account, chronology, anecdote, motif, &c. &c.)


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: William Fear
    Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2015 14:53
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:15


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item