Exploring multiple responses to a chaos narrative

Health (London). 2011 Jan;15(1):38-53. doi: 10.1177/1363459309360782.


Narratives do things. This performative aspect of narrative includes calling on people for a response. This article explores the responses we have witnessed to a chaos narrative told to us by a disabled man that we then shared with different audiences over time. The following four types of response were identified: depression-therapy restitution stories; breakthrough restitution stories; social model stories; and solace stories. Each kind of response is focused on in detail, and their potentials and limitations are considered. The article does not promote one response over another, or seek the last word on the four responses, as the intention is to generate dialogue rather than to finalize. Future possibilities regarding narrative research and responding to stories are also considered.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Biomedical Research
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Disabled Persons / psychology*
  • Grief
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Narration*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / psychology*