By James E. Birren PhD, Gary Kenyon PhD, Jan-Erik Ruth PhD, Johannes J.F. Schroots PhD, Torbjorn Svensson PhD

Own lifestyles narratives can function a wealthy resource of latest insights into the event of human getting older. during this comp;rehensive quantity, a world group of editors and participants supply powerful techniques to utilizing biography to augment our realizing of grownup improvement. as well as supplying new theoretical facets on getting older and biography, the booklet additionally info new advancements in regards to the sensible use of alternative biographical methods in either learn and medical paintings. this can be a landmark quantity advancing using narrative techniques in gerontology.

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31). The problem here is that the past effectiveness of particular metaphors and stories might preclude a search for new images and plots, even as the circumstances of the traveler and the voyage have changed (Kenyon, 1991). But such a condition is really the result of doing something too well over a long period of time, to the point of counterproductiveness (Prado, 1986). Therefore, what is needed here, and what can be provided through storytelling, is access to new stories, new wrinkles in established patterns; in other words, new sources of meaning.

Several textbooks have appeared, including Gubrium's Speaking of Life: Horizons of Meaning for Nursing Home Residents, (1993), Sarbin's Constructing the Social, (1993), Gergen's Toward Transformation of Social Knowledge, (1993), Silverman's Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods of Analyzing Talk, Text and Interaction, (1993), and Harris and Gillett's The Discursive Mind to mention but a few. Further, the first Handbook of Qualitative Research has just appeared (Denzin, 1994). The next section of the chapter will consider several important ethical issues related to the use of biographical materials in the context of research and intervention.

As with the earlier discussed varieties of human interrelatedness, stories may reflect anything, from a need to be loved or a fear of ontological abandonment (Gergen & Gergen, 1984), to altruism, compassion, and wisdom. Moreover, several of these qualities may characterize our stories at any one time; for example, the loss of a job coincident with a new relationship. For these reasons, Cohler's (1993) well-intended interpretation, as with overcognized interpretations of Erikson, may not reflect an accurate phenomenological description of coherence, and may place inappropriate, inordinate, and counterproductive demands and expectations on aging human beings.

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