Unspeakable stories: when counter narratives are deemed unacceptable

Gair, Susan, and Moloney, Sharon (2013) Unspeakable stories: when counter narratives are deemed unacceptable. Qualitative Research Journal, 13 (1). pp. 49-61.

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Abstract

Purpose – Qualitative researchers embrace insider narratives and affirm an environment where stories of lived experiences are acceptable and welcomed. Equally, subjective narratives often are presented for publication with an assumption that they will reach a readership, after a rigorous but empathic review process. Such assumptions and expectations underpin Indigenous, postmodern, feminist, critical and narrative research and writing approaches, all of which seek to foreground non-dominant stories, and expose untold lived experiences through publications. However, this paper aims to challenge the somewhat implicit narrative that "lived experiences would always be welcomed".

Design/methodology/approach – The authors discuss qualitative researchers and narratives, including excluded stories, and then reveal their own experiences of trying to publish less common, confronting, adoption narratives.

Findings – The authors find that stories that do not meet the authorized or conventional version of a social transcript, or those beyond current comprehension, may remain silenced. They speculate that the adoption stories they presented for publication were rejected because they were too confronting.

Originality/value – The authors contend that some stories challenge convention to such an extent that they become unacceptable. They tell different but interwoven stories of rejected, adoption-related manuscripts, before reflecting on implications for the presentation of qualitative narratives.

Item ID: 28288
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: qualitative research, unspeakable counter narratives, tellability, adoption, research methods, narratives
ISSN: 1443-9883
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2013 23:18
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 50%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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