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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  May 2007

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS May 2007

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Subject:

Biographic-narrative-interpretive method (BNIM) for getting at narratives and lived experience - availability of places on the June 2007 5-day intensive

From:

Tom Wengraf <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Tom Wengraf <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 24 May 2007 10:59:30 +0100

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DUE TO VISA TROUBLE IN INDIA, TWO PLACES HAVE JUST BECOME AVAILABLE ON THE
COURSE IN JUNE.

IF INTERESTED, MAKE CONTACT QUICKLY!

Eleventh to Thirteenth  (June  and November  2007, March 2008) 

Intensive BNIM Short Course in Muswell Hill, London N10

in the Biographic-Narrative-Interpretive Method (BNIM) 

5 days for 6 people:   

2007: June 14th and 15th; and 18th  to  20th;     

2007 November 8th and 9th, and 12th to 15th

 2008: March 13th and 14th and 17th to 19th 

 

The value of open-narrative interviewing and insightful interpretation is
widely recognised, but,  rather than having to invent the wheel for
themselves, many people welcome a systematic immersion into principles and
procedures that have been shown to generate high-quality work. An excerpt
from an email we received from one university may be suggestive:

 

“… a number of the trainees who graduated this year got top awards in their
doctorate projects... BNIM and narrative projects were considered to be of a
particularly high standard by both internal and external examiners, and were
very well received.  The course director was very impressed and has told me
that the standard of the research of those undertaking these projects (using
BNIM) has improved the standard of the whole cohort.”

 

For over eight years in the UK, and more recently in New York, in Auckland
(NZ) and  Ljubljana (Slovenia), we have been running BNIM intensive
trainings designed for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in various
pure and applied  fields. Comments include:

 

Elvin – A richness beyond what I could imagine.

 

Sian – Well-balanced, with just enough of each step. It was nice to have a
number of little thresholds. I like the emphasis on own research, and having
lots of time for reflection.

 

Mark – I could go away and practice now. I liked the balance of how and why.
I really got my head round that and could explain it to someone else.

 

Recently completed PhDs and clinical doctorates by researchers using BNIM
range over topics such as: reintegration of Guatamalan refugees; identity in
informal care; men coping with sexual abuse; psychosomatic study of breast
cancer; love and intimacy; motivation in occupational therapy; South African
migrants to NZ; transitions in hearing voices’ life stories; nurses’ and
health visitors’ learning and professional practice; relationship
experiences in psychosis and hospitalisation. We know of 18 more PhDs and
clinical doctorates in process.  Universities include Auckland, Birmingham,
Dublin, de Montfort, East Anglia, Central Lancashire, East London, Essex,
Exeter, Leicester, Kings College London, Leeds, Oxford, Oxford Brookes,
Plymouth.

 

BNIM assumes that “narrative” expresses both conscious concerns and
unconscious cultural, societal and individual presuppositions and processes.
It supports research into the lived experience of individuals and
collectives, facilitating understanding both the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer’
worlds of ‘historically-evolving persons-in-historically-evolving
situations’, and particularly the interactivity of inner and outer world
dynamics.  It especially serves researchers who need a tool that supports
understanding spanning sociological and psychological dynamics and
structures, and these treated not statically but as situated historically
and biographically.  Such research provides an innovative base for policy
and improved practitioner practice.

 

Theoretical and methodological developments from recent research practice
are raised for discussion.  When you  enrol for the course, you
automatically become a member of the <Biographic-narrative-BNIM> email list
where news, questions and discussion circulate. Methodology can be lonely
without a secure base and like-minded people working in the same way as you.
The course, the textbook, the Short Guide and the email list offer you
support in using part or all of the BNIM tool-kit for your purposes.


Summary 


Designed for PhD students and professional researchers, the course provides
a thorough training in doing BNIM biographic narrative interviews, together
with ‘hands-on experience’ of following BNIM interpretation procedures.
Students develop a sense of how their own research projects might use such
aspects  and components. The cost is £600 if paid in full by/ October 1st.
February 1st 2008 If paid later, the cost is £700. Taught by Prue
Chamberlayne and Tom Wengraf in Muswell Hill, North London,  the course’s
small number of students ensures close coaching and support for the
intensive work that is needed for you to fully acquire both the
understanding of  principles and the practical capacity for  proceeding with
the  systematic practices involved in BNIM – usable both for BNIM and  for
other types of  narrative interviewing and interpretation.

 

You will be expected to have looked at (not read!)  chapters 6 and 12 of
Tom’s textbook, Qualitative research interviewing: biographic narrative and
semi-structured method (2001: Sage Publications),   Preliminary and
supplementary material will be provided. More recent debates and
developments in theory and method are integrated into the programme. Before
the course starts, you are expected to have studied the most recent version
of the Short Guide to BNIM which will be sent to your email address.

 

 

Programme (subject to revision)

 

Thursday 14th–  Friday 15th  June 2007 /   8th and 9th November; and 2008
13th and 14th March 

We start with a short introduction to the Biographic-narrative-interpretive
method, a very brief history of its development in Germany and then in
Britain, and an indication of the principles behind its practice.  The point
and timing of using open-ended biographic narrative interviews rather than
(only) the more conventional semi-structured and attitude-and-argument
focused ones is clarified.  The bulk of the two days is then almost entirely
devoted to learning the craft of BNIM interviewing practice. This involves
learning to ask narrative-pointed questions (both topic-focused and also
open) and not inadvertently interrupting or deflecting the interviewee.
Apparently simple, it rapidly becomes clear that such a craft requires
repeated and careful practice to be successfully achieved.  Pencil-and-paper
and repeated practical exercises ensure such success is achieved by the end
of the 2nd day.   

 

 Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th June 2007 /  12th to 14th November; 2008
March 17th to 19th

We outline the principles and you engage in the  key practices of BNIM
interpretive work . We explain the twin-tracks of ‘lived life’ and ‘told
story’ analysis, and micro-analysis, and how you convert the raw transcript
into two series of processed data for each track. You learn the significance
of the future-blind chunk-by-chunk approach peculiar to BNIM by practice –
by doing parts of a narrative text analysis, a micro-analysis  and
biographical data analysis. Finally, on the basis of case-presentations, you
practice case-comparison and the comparative theorising towards which BNIM
work is typically oriented. The course ends with our looking again at how
you might best use all or part of the BNIM approach for your individual
research projects, and how to defend your choice to use this biographical
research method with a low-N in-depth sample in arguments with sceptical
research and applied policy audiences.

 

 For an  example of BNIM case studies we recommend the European Union
seven-country SOSTRIS project (edited) Biography and social exclusion in
Europe: experiences and life-journeys (2002: Bristol, Policy Press).  See
also P. Chamberlayne, J. Bornat and U. Apitzsch (eds) Biographical methods
and professional practice (2004 Bristol: Policy Press) Other books,
articles, theses and reports that you might wish to look at are listed in
the full bibliography of the constantly updated   Longer Guide to BNIM. 

To get a copy of the ‘Guides to BNIM’, to ask any questions or to book a
place, contact  <HYPERLINK "mailto:[log in to unmask]"[log in to unmask]> 

Tom

 

24a PrincesAvenue

Muswell Hill

London N10 3 LR

UK

 

020-8883-9297

 

For a free copy of the current 'Short Guide to BNIM (biographical narrative
interpretive method) research interviewing', please send me details of your
institutional affiliation and for what research or teaching purpose you
might wish to use BNIM. I'll mail you a copy right back.




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