This article offers an innovation in narrative analysis afforded by incorporating analytic concepts from discourse analysis. We share some examples from our study of online autobiographical accounts of non - suicidal self - injury (NSSI) to illustrate the various aspects of a discursive narrative approach to research. We show how the participants construct events and experiences as sequentially linked and temporarily related using a range of discursive practices and devices, including producing contrasting descriptions of emotional states, using figurative language, vivid or vague descriptions, and extreme case formulations. The specific way in which experience was constituted as sequentially and causally linked allows narrators to attribute relief from suffering to NSSI and to present NSSI as a reasonable and justifiable behavior to those who may read these autobiographies. This study offers insight into what may be missed when interpretation is focused solely on the content or broad structural elements of stories, as in much narrative analysis, and suggests the critical role of narrators’ social or interactive orientation and their reliance on the micro - details of language in the construction of stories. Methodological and theoretical implications are discussed


Narrative Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Self - Injury, Online Communication


Special thanks to Clare MacMartin and Derek Edwards for their comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




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