Narrative-biographical research has aroused great interest in recent decades. This is in view of the fact that this one uses personal reports and life experiences for its data collection. In this respect, it has attached great importance because of its qualitative nature.
In this sense, at the beginning of the twentieth century, this type of study took a boom. Life Stories were used during those early epochs of the century by Social Researchers. They tried to understand the subjects that were part of the mass migration that occurred from Europe to North America.
During these mobilizations, these communities, which were numerous, found themselves in the need to adapt to new living conditions. The ethical, moral and religious values of this new nation were different from those of their countries of origin, which caused tensions in some members of the American population.
Biographies and Narrative-Biographical Research
The appearance of the Biographical Method in the Social Sciences dates back to 1920. On this date the last volume and third volume of the book The Polish Peasant in Europe and America by Thomas and Znaniecki was published. From that moment on, the expression life history began to be used.
In this regard, this statement was used to refer to the descriptions obtained from successive interviews of the vital narrative that a person possesses. It is based in this way on the set of documentary records and interviews conducted with subjects who are in the same social environment of the person interviewed. These allow the biographical story to be completed and validated.
Thus, the Biographical Method has been very useful in conducting research in some disciplines of knowledge such as: Sociology, Anthropology, Social Psychology and Pedagogy. In the same way, in others in which the human being regains his protagonism in the face of the dehumanization that has so characterized positivist scientism.
In this way, both biographies and life stories serve to deepen and deepen our knowledge and the phenomena of breaking ideological and cultural codes. They have a particular interest in the way in which the processes of individual, collective and group memory are carried out.
What is a life story?
A life story allows to designate so many stories that constitute the entire life of a human being. For example those partial narratives that correspond to certain moments or biographical epochs.
Thus, this term refers not only to the story itself, but also to all the information that has been gathered about life, which is its object of study. For estp, the information that precedes school stages, health sources, among others, as well as the analyses carried out by the researchers or researchers are taken into consideration.
Types of life stories
Complete life stories
These cover the extension of a person’s entire life or career.
Thematic life stories
They are those in which many of the traits of a complete history of a subject’s life are shared. However, it delimits the research to a specific topic, issue, or period.
Life stories edited
They can be thematic or complete, but in these, the comments and explanations made by another person that is not the main subject in which the research is focused are interspersed.
Characteristics of Life Stories
- Detailed and comprehensive narratives about the life of a character are obtained.
- The narration can be done both by the character himself who will be approached and by other subjects who knew him.
- It can focus on the entire life of such a subject. For example, the story of a highly regarded teacher in a community, the Life Story of an architect who is famous, among others.
In addition, these stories can also focus on certain moments in a subject’s life. This is the case of the Life Story of Juan Rulfo during the period in which he wrote his novel Pedro Páramo or a Life History in which the first 10 years of an important character are narrated.
Biograms in Narrative-Biographical Research
Biograms are Life Stories told by subjects who belong to the same social group. This is based on compliance with specific guidelines regarding content and form. Its purpose is to obtain mass data that is constructed from biographical records.
The biographical records of these life stories are based on factors drawn from a sample of extensive personal biographies. It has been used to compare these aspects of the life in society of the subjects investigated.
Characteristics of Narrative-Biographical Research
They allow knowing the life experiences of people
From the description of some aspects such as living conditions and moral, religious or ethical values, the life experiences of people can be told.
The fundamental data collection technique is the interview
Through interviews with the investigated subjects, which are complemented by documentary records, as well as interviews with other subjects that are close to the person being studied, biographical reports can be completed and validated.
Collective, individual and group memory records are collected
Through this series of registers, the processes of both collective memory, as well as group or individual memory, can be described. This is to highlight the variety of forms of knowledge and social communication that exist.
Allow describing how people acquire knowledge
Life stories have been used in Education and other disciplines of knowledge that have a particular interest in the process of knowledge acquisition. This is because these stories allow us to relate the way in which people’s knowledge is organized and how it can change through the experiences they live.
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