A PhD in Psychology, Open Psychology Research Centre, Political Psychology, Research in the School, Social Psychology

What stories make worlds, what worlds make stories – Book review

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Stories Changing Lives: Narratives and Paths towards Social Change Edited by Corinne Squire (Oxford, University Press).

Reviewed by Kesi Mahendran, Sue Nieland, Anthony English and Nicola Magnusson all within the Public Dialogue Psychology Collaboratory, Open Psychology Research Centre, The Open University.


Psychologists have always been preoccupied with stories: the ones that dominate and the ones that can’t yet be told. Today the term ‘narrative’ is under considerable scrutiny, even becoming politicised. Take Back Control, Build Back Better, Yes We Can – political leaders harness narratives, their past, present, future temporalities and subtle appeals to belonging. Scientists in universities who work with narratives are often marginalised. Studies which focus on lived realities, on personal truths, are contrasted with large-scale systematic data collection: data is collected by ‘experts’, and stories are collected by ‘partisans’. Amid these tensions and possibilities arrives a book which reveals how narratives work towards social justice.

To read the full review visit https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-35/february-2022/what-stories-make-worlds-what-worlds-make-stories

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