Narrative Forms of Quality Social Research as a New Direction in Studying and Understanding Minorities in North America

42 Pages Posted: 8 May 2012

Date Written: May 8, 2012

Abstract

When we hear about “quantitative” as well as “qualitative” research or analysis, we all know what these terms refer to. However, there are answers we will never have unless we stop searching for what we don’t see and start looking and listening to what we already have.

I am working on a PhD thesis about Trentino-Tyrolean roots in North America -- the US as well as Canada -- focusing my attention on two specific aspects of heritage and migration stories:

1. the “social networks” that people may use to get in touch with other people who share their own roots -- such as clubs, associations, conventions, newsletters, websites.

2. the narrative depth and potential of some migration stories. The concept of a “journey” is purely narrative; so I am investigating how most of the narrative figures and gestures (of literature?) can be applied to and be borne out of minorities’ true stories. Specifically, I want to show the power of novel data collection techniques, since minorities rely upon their own stories and memories, and therefore probably tell us the best methods to learn about and understand those communities.

I will begin with a review of the most important elements of group studies; then I will treat the characteristics that a successful story needs to possess, and finally I will compare social actors and group characteristics to the characters and mechanisms of storytelling to demonstrate how stories, communities, values, languages and costumes present us with new emerging issues as well as with new methodological insights and approaches.

Keywords: Social research goals, groups, characters, dramaturgy, script-writing

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Franceschini, Andrea, Narrative Forms of Quality Social Research as a New Direction in Studying and Understanding Minorities in North America (May 8, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2054354 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2054354

Andrea Franceschini (Contact Author)

Università IULM

Vicolo Santa Maria in Organo 1
Verona, 37129
Italy

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