The paper is devoted to the concept of narrative in social psychology. The problem of lack of unity in the understanding and application of this concept in the research methods is discussed. The goal is to systemize the approaches to narrative from the perspective of the identity research. Narrative is a concept that is beginning to be widely used in the study of personality, self-perception, communication, and the study of various social practices; that is why it is necessary to determine which properties of narrative can be applied to the study of identity. The paper performs a review of four most common approaches to the narrative: narrative as a particular mode of thought (J. Bruner), narrative as a metatheoretical paradigm (T. Sarbin), narrative as a life story, narrative as one of discourse genres. The features of the narrative in each approach, as well as the main problems of research are analized. Two criteria of the narrative are discussed: specific temporal structure and transformation criterion. The following features of the concept of narrative in psychology are focused upon: discursive understanding of narrative, the importance of incorporating interactional and cultural contexts within the study of narrative, functional approach to the definition of the narrative. We discuss the potential of the narrative as a psychological construct in the study of identity and define two promising approaches to the narrative: the analysis of separate life events (e.g. turning points and complex actions) and the analysis of narration as a discursive practice and an interactional process which is sensitive to local context and to wider social practices.
Kutkovaya Ecaterina S. (2014). Narrative in the study of identity. National psychological journal. 4 (16), 23-33.