The social sciences have a growing seismic shift from prioritising positivist, objective, and generalizable knowledge to accepting subjective qualitative knowledge. This has given rise to various art-based methods that leverage multi-sensory storytelling/narrative. To further advance innovation in qualitative narrative methods, I will present the Dohori narrative, an indigenous Nepali poetic storytelling method for narrative research with older grandmothers doing care work. I start by presenting a discourse on Dohori to understand better the history and traditional and cultural underpinning of the method. Provided a brief background to Nepali grandmother immigrants and then discussed the promise of Dohori as a form of culturally relevant narrative interviewing with this population. To demonstrate this, I provide an examplar case study adopting a conventional narrative interview and then Dohori to show the differences. The study showed that Dohori has the potential to elicit stories, emotions, and tacit knowledge and access other areas of consciousness that traditional narrative interviews are not privy to. I conclude by arguing for the adoption of Dohori and similar dialogical poetic methods for research with indigenous populations, especially minority groups with limited voice.


Dohori, culture, grandmothers, narrative, Nepal, qualitative research

Author Bio(s)

Kusum Bhatta is a Ph.D. student at McMaster University School of Social Work. As a governing council member at the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion and a board member of the South Asian Heritage Association of Hamilton and Region, Kusum is actively involved in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Hamilton community. Her research and advocacy efforts highlight the critical importance of recognizing the essential contributions of immigrant aging women of colour, who often provide care work that is undervalued and unrecognized. Through her work, she brings attention to the societal structures and power imbalances perpetuating the devaluation of care work. Please direct correspondence to bhattk18@mcmaster.ca


I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Christina Sinding for her unwavering support and invaluable feedback on this paper. Her guidance has been instrumental in shaping my work. I would also like to express my deepest appreciation to the Nepalese grandmothers in Hamilton, the cherished guardians of heritage and culture. Their wisdom and resilience have enriched my research and inspired a profound respect for the cultural tapestry of Nepal they uphold in Canada.

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