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It’s Open to Interpretation:\ud Telling Porkies - Narrating and\ud Rewriting Life History and the\ud Use of Dramatic License

By Steve Lyon and Graham Thurgood

Abstract

This paper provides some personal reflections on issues relating to how people\ud tell their life stories and interpret their past experiences, and how nurse\ud teachers and researchers may interpret and use these narratives.\ud This is a discussion of whether tales appearing on paper and told in the\ud classroom are ever truthful accounts and the extent to which they may be\ud manipulated for maximum effect considered. In a world fed on super graphics\ud and sound bites; what hope the subtle story teller. When ‘King Kong’ is\ud preferred over “Brokeback Mountain” the temptation to dramatise looms large.\ud Examples of the use of dramatic license from both the narrators and researchers\ud view point are provided. An exploration of why stories may be dramatised, and\ud some of the legal and ethical dilemmas that surface for anyone who is\ud representing the life stories of others either on paper or in the classroom are\ud discussed.\ud There is discussion of whether it is ever justified to fabricate life stories in\ud order to best secure the ear of an audience and particularly in relation to when\ud the life story is not ones own, but belongs to another. The purpose of\ud ‘stretching the truth’ is explored and its methodological implications for the\ud researcher considered

Topics: BF
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:4566

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