M2: Unit 3 – Q5.2 Answer

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Theorists such as Fisher and Whitebrook argue that this selection process is based on values and identification. Whitebrook (2001:145) argues that individuals agree with or dissent from public narratives according to whether these resonate with their own life, identity and experience.

Similarly, Fisher (1987) proposes a ‘narrative paradigm’ based on the concept of ‘good reasons’. Fisher (ibid.:48) defines good reasons as ‘elements that provide warrants for accepting or adhering to the advice fostered by any form of communication that can be considered rhetorical’. These are closely related to human values; elements which guide us to accept one narrative as more relevant and significant to us than another narrative. According to this paradigm, we test new versions of narratives for ‘narrative fidelity’ and ‘coherence’. Narrative fidelity refers to whether the stories we hear ring true with the stories we know to be true in our lives, while ‘coherence’ involves examining a narrative’s internal consistency and its consistency in relation to other narratives. In other words, we choose the narratives which seem most believable and which relate most closely to the ‘good reasons’ or values we believe in.