Written Assignment: Narrative Inquiry and Content Analysis—
Between 1936 and 1938, the Federal Writers Project, collected a 17 volume account of Slave
narratives: A folk history of slaves in the US from interviews with former slaves.
Search Google with the phrase “slave narratives” and read through several titles, including
American slave narratives, Index of narratives, and Born in slavery.
Closely scrutinize these excerpts from slaves, and read their accounts (at least 4 or 5 of them)
in order to focus on the qualitative approach Narrative Inquiry, as discussed by Creswell
(2016). You are to use content analysis as a methodology; commonly used in the social
sciences to analyze recorded transcripts of interviews—content analysis also studies
authorship and authenticity of meaning, or who says what, to whom, why, to what extent, and
with what effect?
Generally speaking content analysis proceeds from a particular framework or point of view,
such as critical theory, or a particular interpretation—in this case—of slavery in general.
Then language is scrutinized for sense making: what is being said, how often, how do the
participants agree and disagree on what is being said, and what is the content of their daily
lived experiences? What is the message of the slave narratives you have read? How do you
understand the participant’s voices? The authors’ collection of participants’ voices? How
are you categorizing and classifying the content of participants’ narratives? What questions
are guiding your narrative inquiry?
The expectation is a 2-3 page final paper in which your answers to the above questions are
grouped and discussed as you have established categories (from content analysis) to explain
the narratives of four or five of the slave narratives you have read).
– use text book
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