The Roots and Ramifications of Narrative in Modern Medicine

In: The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; 2016 Jun 30. Chapter 32.


Narrative became a concept of great versatility and fluidity in the second half of the twentieth century, configuring multi-dimensional understandings and meanings in healthcare. The literary and social theorist Martin Kreiswirth speaks of ‘a massive and unprecedented eruption of interest in narrative and in theorizing about narrative’ in the period, which resulted in stories and fragments of stories gaining significant conceptual traction in many discourses and practices. Not until narrative began to be credited with such multi-disciplinary capacities were claims for a pluripotential role in medicine explicitly formulated.

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