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The “good” story – some connections

Nation-wide narratives continue to be created in blended and re-blended forms in New Zealand and elsewhere. For instance. New narratives are now emerging of an expansion of dairy farming that is replacing sheep farming (meat and wool).

The need to relate land-use narratives to environmental or ecological ones is also becoming increasingly recognized. For instance, how does the expansion of water-intensive dairying affect the quantity and quality of New Zealand’s ground water?

Narratives of popular concern, issue creation, scientific investigation, and legal processes come to intertwine. In what way(s) will these conflicting elements be drawn together and resolved, both in the immediate future, and then in longer term time frames? These matters all become grist for the mill for on-going narrative creation where much is at stake.

Narratives are also constructed about local areas. For instance, although many have never been to South Auckland, they feel they know it through nationally broadcast narratives about its social problems, especially violence. Conversely, many come to know of places such as Queenstown as it is contextualized by the glitzy narratives of celebrities who live or holiday there.

Digital stories are also created by all sorts of groups about their interests, concerns and activities and there has been some funding from the government’s Community Partnership Funding in the Digital Strategy for this activity.

We would be interested in hearing from people who are working in this area, particularly those who are using narrative created by people in and about their localities and their development, by people who live there.

To date not many social theorists seem to have taken a close interest in developmental, participatory community narrative creation and situating it strongly in social theory. One exception is Ellen Herda. Herda explicitly adapts or operationalizes the hermeneutic process, of interpretation and understanding, to support the creation of a shared participatory community development text.

Hazel’s narrative-based methodology builds on this and adapts it for her filmed narrative … more about this later.

Is such framing of any use? This question will be explored in further blogs.

Any comments, most welcome

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