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Men, Sport, Spinal Cord Injury and the Narrative Construction of Coherence

By Brett Smith and Andrew C. Sparkes

Abstract

Drawing on data generated from a research project that focuses on the lived\ud experiences of men who have experienced a spinal cord injury (SCI) through\ud playing rugby football union, this chapter examines how a sense of coherence\ud is constructed within one persons’ life story. Narrative studies, as Seymour-\ud Smith (2002) notes, have documented the importance to many individual’s\ud identities of presenting a coherent life story. Yet, the notion of coherence, a\ud shibboleth in the field of narrative inquiry, is a contested issue. For example,\ud Mishler (1999) argues that coherence, as a concept, is essentially and\ud intractably ambiguous, defying efforts at formal and precise definition. For\ud him, therefore, one way forward is to recognise the essential reflexivity of\ud coherence and the manner in which this is a negotiated achievement among the\ud participants involved in telling and listening to a story. Accordingly, one of the\ud areas he ask researchers to direct their attention towards is the artful practices\ud through which storytellers do coherence, and the complex and differentiated\ud ways stories can be organised to serve their meaning-making functions

Topics: H1, RC1200, BF
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:5113

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