The embedded narrative: Navigating through multiple contexts

Tammar B. Zilber*, Rivka Tuval-Mashiach, Amia Lieblich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Narrative psychology theoreticians emphasized the importance of context to the construction, communication, and understanding of individuals' life stories. Still, the various contexts in which, and in reference to which, life stories are told, the methodological implications of the importance of context, and the possible interpretive moves explicating the different contexts have not been worked out. Thus, drawing on various theoretical formulations and exploring two case studies, the authors point to three spheres of contexts in which narrators situate their life stories: the immediate intersubjective relationships in which a narrative is produced; the collective social field in which one's life and story evolved; and the broad cultural meaning systems or meta narratives that underlie and give sense to any particular life story. The authors outline how to identify these spheres as represented and marked by narrators, and suggest possible interpretive moves in explicating them.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1047-1069
Number of pages23
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008


  • Context
  • Context analysis
  • Intersubjective context
  • Meta-narrative
  • Social field


Dive into the research topics of 'The embedded narrative: Navigating through multiple contexts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this