Narrative Inquiry: Methodological Lessons from Studying and Storying LGBTQ+ Identities, Relationships, and Desires

In this workshop, we discuss the use of narrative inquiry—analyzing and representing data in terms of stories and storytelling. Throughout the course, we discuss several facets of narrative inquiry, including narrative analysis, narrative ethics, narrative ownership, and representing others and their/our desires in our work.  We intend for our discussion to offer practical insights into using narrative inquiry to study and story a broad range of topics. The in-depth focus on techniques for narrative analysis and illustrative content will allow you to transfer practices and strategies to your own work, regardless of the content area. 

To illustrate the power of narrative inquiry we focus on using it to identify and interrogate connections between LGBTQ+ identities, relationships, and desires by covering the following topics:

  • inadequacies of traditional social scientific research about sexuality
  • the opportunities of LGBTQ+ research that uses reflexive life writing methods
  • publishing research on/about/with LGBTQ+ individuals and communities
  • the everyday relational challenges faced by LGBTQ+ persons
  • embodiments of sex, gender, and sexuality

The course will offer practices and strategies for conducting narrative inquiry and will illustrate these approaches using examples from our project, Living Sexuality: Stories of LGBTQ Relationships, Identities, and Desires.

All three authors have written extensively about narrative, sexuality, and identity, including Living Sexuality: Stories of LGBTQ Relationships, Identities, and Desires (2020, Brill | Sense), Bullied: Tales of Torment, Identity, and Youth (2016, Routledge), and Narrating the Closet: An Autoethnography of Same-Sex Attraction (2011, Routledge).