Biographic narrative interpretative method (BNIM): a taster workshop


Bio: Debbie Holley is Professor of Learning Innovation at Bournemouth University. A National Teaching Fellow and a passionate educator, she blends learning to motivate and engage a diverse student body. She has used biographic narrative interpretative method in her own research projects, seeking to uncover the hidden barriers to accessing technologies, worked with researchers across London to draw upon biographic narrative to track student University aspirations into their home communities, and offers training to doctoral students seeking to use this method in their own research. Her research interests in digital, augmented and immersive worlds influence national policy through her published work, keynote addresses and policy articles.

Participants are warmly invited to take part in a practice interview; work on coding a short extract from a 'real' interview and carry out a sample analysis. BNIM draws upon the German school of thought from the early 20th century; and is a particular method used to draw out the 'stories' or narratives from interviewee's lives. What is of interest to the researcher is what the interviewee selects to tell us; and the way in which the story is told. The interview is structured such that the interviewee has the time and space to develop their own contribution. This approach is useful as it can in part challenge the criticism of the research interview; which can assume that an interview is an unproblematic window on psychological or social realities; and that the 'information' that the interviewee gives about themselves and their world can be simply extracted and quoted (Wengraf 2001).